MYSORE, INDIA: 24-year-old Indian Davis Cup player and the second seed Vishnu Vardhan claimed the Men’s Singles title in the Zuari Garden City Mysore ITF Pro Circuit tournament with a clinical 76(7) 63 victory in 103 minutes over the seventh seeded N. Sriram Balaji.
In the final, staged at the Mysore Tennis Club on Saturday 9 June, quick serving Vardhan, who fired as many as ten aces, backed his powerful serve with strong and consistent returns to prevail over his 22-year-old spirited rival who was quite unlucky to capitalise on his chances especially in the tie breaker of the first set.
Balaji, despite serving well with half a dozen aces and attacking strongly, was unable to break his rival in the entire match which indeed offset his valiant efforts. In fact, it was Balaji’s own serve that came under pressure on several occasions in the first set where he was dragged to deuce in the first, seventh and eleventh games.
With both holding their respective serves in the first set till 6-all. The set spilled into a tie-breaker in which Balaji held a set point when serving at 6-3 before Vishnu Vardhan recovered to level and eventually won 9-7 with Balaji swiping wide over the base line.
The second set too proved an absorbing affair marked by some keen rallies before Balaji wilted in the eighth game with a series of mis-hits and dropped serve when slamming a forehand return out. Vishnu Vardhan who grabbed a 53 lead with that break then served out the match in style and emerged as a worthy winner.
An elated Vishnu Vardhan said: “I am happy to win here and Balaji is a much improved player and has done well in the ITF Circuit in India and he is always a tough rival. I think he was unlucky in the first set where he had three set points in the tie break and I had to rely on my experience to get through. In the second set however it was much easier as he seemed to be tiring out after having played a doubles final and three setter semifinal yesterday”.
Vardhan will also play in the Bangalore Open and later will take a break for couple of weeks before playing in few more tournaments abroad.
Earlier on Friday, Indian combination of Arun-Prakash Rajagopalan & Sriram Balaji won the doubles title beating compatriots Ajai selvaraj & Kunal Anand 36 61 [10-6].
Mr. Binayak Dutta, Chief Financial Officer, Zuari industries gave away the awards to the winner and runner-up. Chief Guests included Mr. P.S. Vastrad, IAS, Deputy Commissioner & District Administrator, Mysore and Chairman, Organising Committee, Mr. Karti Chidambaram, Vice President, All India Tennis Association (AITA), Mr. K.L. Sudheer, IPS, Commissioner of Police, Mysore, Former Cricketer Javagal Srinath, Mr. Sunder Raju, Hon.Secretary, Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA). Other dignitaries present were Mr. Chikkaswamy, TVS Motors and Dr. N.M. Srinivas, President, Mysore Tennis Club.
Tournament Director Sunil Yajaman welcomed the gathering and thanked all the sponsors.
Singles: Vishnu Vardhan (2) (IND) defeated N. Sriram Balaji (7) India 76(7) 6-3
Doubles: N. Sriram Balaji (IND) & Arun-Prakash Rajagopalan (1) (IND) defeated Kunal Anand (IND) & Ajai Selvaraj (IND) 36 61 [10-6]