Photo: Sunil YajamanMichael Shabaz (USA)
BELGAUM, INDIA: It was a nice sunny day at the ‘Kundanagari’ as Belgaum is fondly called for its famous sweet, and a good turnout for the finals of the ITF Belgaum Open 2012 at the VTU Tennis Complex. It was also the end of a three week ITF Futures circuit in Karnataka.
Though the score doesn’t say much, it was some high quality fare between the German Torsten Wietoska and American Michael Shabaz and the latter ultimately lifted the trophy.
It was the second title for Shabaz this year who said after the match: “this is heartening for me as I have come back after a long duration of sickness. Wietoska played well and pushed me to play better and I wish him the best for his future. The three weeks at Karnataka has been good for me to end with this title at Belgaum. I wish I come back to Belgaum for a higher category tournament next time.”
Shabaz shut-out Wietoska in the first set which just lasted for 30mins. Long rallies and some hard hitting by both the players was a treat to watch. Wietoska looked to rush in the set and started playing much better in the second set. Wietoska looked to get the set with a splendid down the line pass on his backhand to go up 15-0 on the twelfth game on Shabaz’s serve being up 6-5.
Shabaz then came up with three big serves, followed with volleys, to win the game. In the tie break, Wietoska broke Shabaz in the very first point but let go the break in the next. At 3-3 in the tie break, Shabaz got more aggressive and subdued Wietoska a bit to take the set and match 60 76(3) in 1hr 20mins. Victory in this final added to his title win in the doubles event the previous day.
After the match, beaten finalist Torsten Wietoska said: “It’s been a great tour for me at Karnataka and I really love the places I have been to here. VTU is a wonderful venue and I look forward coming back and playing here in future. I congratulate Shabaz for the title and for playing a great match."
Dr. H. Maheshappa, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, VTU handed over the VTU rolling trophy to the Champion, Mr. Radhakrishna, Vice President, KSLTA handed over the cheque to winner & Mr. Sunder Raju, Hon. Jt. Secretary, AITA & Secretary, KSLTA was the Chief Guest. Dr. Bette Gowda, director of Physical Education, VTU welcomed all and Sunil Yajaman, Tournament director thanked everyone.
The Vice Chancellor of Visvesaraya Technological University, Dr. Maheshappa committed to organise an ITF event every year while Sunder Raju, Hon. Jt. Secretary, All India Tennis Association while thanking the Deputy Commissioner of Belgaum Mr. Anbu Kumar, IAS for his support, also requested the Vice Chancellor to be host to bigger event in future and have more Engineering Colleges promote sports.