ITF men’s tournament: Saketh-Vishnu pair clinches doubles title; Sidharth, Vishnu lose singles semis

The Indian challenge was snuffed in the semifinals of singles, but Saketh Myneni and Vishnu Vardhan did well to clinch the doubles title in the $15,000 ITF menโ€™s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Saturday.

Second seed Sidharth Rawat put up a good fare before being beaten 7-6(5), 6-2 by Philip Sekulic of Australia, who had made the final last week in Indore.

Sekulic had a running verbal duel with his dad right through the match, but focused on his game sufficiently to uncork his big forehand and steer his way to the final. Within his limitations, Sidharth played solid and competed well, but the Aussie youngster, ranked 25 in the world among juniors, stepped up his game to pull ahead.

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In the other semifinal, third seed Valentin Vacherot of France was far too strong with his explosive game and conceded two games in outclassing Vishnu Vardhan. Tall and wiry, serving big and hitting the forehand with telling effect, Vacherot raced through in an hour, dropping only six points in all on his serve in the whole match.

The 34-year-old Vishnu had expended a lot of energy in three and a half hours of singles game, and two hours of doubles game on Friday. With employer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) extending support in the form of physio Dr. Rajkumar Dubey, Vishnu was physically fine, but had to make a quick exit in the match owing to his opponentโ€™s big game.

Vishnu combined very well with Saketh Myneni to assert the Indian domination in the doubles final, as the pair beat Julian Cash and Zsombor Velcz 13-11 in the super tie-break.

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After Manish Sureshkumar had won the title last week in Indore, it was a disappointment for the Indian camp that it could not put anyone in the singles final this time. The players will have a chance to revert to winning ways next in the tournament in Gurugram.

The results

Singles (semifinals): Philip Sekulic (AUS) bt Sidharth Rawat 7-6(5), 6-2; Valentin Vacherot (FRA) bt Vishnu Vardhan 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles (final): Saketh Myneni & Vishnu Vardhan bt Julian Cash (GBR) & Zsombor Velcz (Hun) 6-3, 3-6, [13-11].

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