Sunil Kumar takes out Divij Sharan

Kamesh Srinivasan

NEW DELHI: Sunil Kumar warded off some stiff resistance from the fifth-seeded Divij Sharan, to beat him 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5 in the first round of the State Bank of Saurashtra ITF men's Futures tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Monday.

The 20-year-old Sharan has lost twice earlier to Sunil on the circuit, including once this month in Tunisia, but put up a much better fare.

Sharan fought the odds to take the first set after Sunil doublefaulted to face a set point and then put a backhand wide on the next point in the tie-break. However, Sunil was his fluent self in the second and third sets in regaining control over the proceedings.

In another match, former national champion Vijay Kannan outplayed the hard-working Sanam Singh for the loss of just six games.

Navdeep Singh saved two matchpoints in the second set tie-break to force the decider against Hyun-Woo Nam of Korea, but could not cope with the better physical fitness of the Korean in the third set.

The results: Singles (first round): Alexey Kedriouk (Kaz) bt Aditya Madkekar 7-5, 7-6(3); Vijay Kannan bt Sanam Singh 6-3, 6-3; Hyun-Woo Nam (Kor) bt Navdeep Singh 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1; Sunil Kumar bt Divij Sharan 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5.

Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Alexey Kedriouk (Kaz) and Sunil Kumar bt Vivek Shokeen and Sanam Singh 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Aditya Madkekar and Purav Raja bt Yuki Bhambri and Kaushik Raju 6-0, 6-4; Vijay Kannan and Pathanjali Ravishankar bt Kamala Kannan and Shivang Mishra 6-1, 6-4; Hsin-Han Lee and Tsung -Hua Yang (Tpe) bt Franck Dalla-Santa and Xavier Pujo (Fra) 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(6); Navdeep Singh and Vishnu Vardhan bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and V.M. Ranjeet 6-2, 6-2; Todor Enev (Bul) and Hiroki Kondo (Jpn) bt Divij Sharan and Ashutosh Singh 6-1, 6-3; Stephen Amritraj and Mustafa Ghouse bt Vladislav Bondarenko (Ukr) and Sarvar Ikramov (Uzb) 6-4, 6-2; Vinod Sridhar and Vishaal Uppal bt Pierre-Ludovic Duclos (Can) and Petar Jelenic (Cro) 6-4, 6-4.

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