SPORT

Inoyatov clinches title



Kamesh Srinivasan

Inoyatov's court covering and stunning strokes make the differenceThe Uzbek avenges his defeat at the hands of Torresi

NEW DELHI: Murad Inoyatov of Uzbekistan clinched the title as he beat fourth-seeded Federico Torresi of Italy 6-1, 7-6(3) in the final of the Masters event in the ITF Satellite tennis circuit that concluded at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

The 21-year-old from Tashkent, a bundle of unbridled energy on court, blunted the game of his Italian opponent with a sharp counter in racing away with the first set. However, Inoyatov was unable to maintain the momentum, and just about managed to hang on in the second set that witnessed six breaks of serve.

In fact, it was the Italian who had more trouble holding on to his serve and faced breakpoints in all but one of his nine service games.

Vital misses

A couple of volleying errors from the Italian swung the balance in favour of Inoyatov in the middle of the tie-break and he did not have to do anything spectacular thereafter, as he had done in the earlier part of the match with some stinging backhand passing shots, to cruise home.

It was a tame finish for Torresi, who lacked the punch in his heavily-spun strokes to outwit the fleet-footed Inoyatov. In contrast, the Uzbek won repeated rounds of applause for his stupendous ability to cover the court and come up with breathtaking strokes.

The defeat apart, Torresi was happy to finish second on the circuit, and collected 29 ATP points including a bonus of four. Inoyatov added 31 circuit points to the meagre seven points from the first three legs, to end up with 18 ATP points.

The Masters winner collected $800 and the runner-up took $600.