The Hindu, NEW DELHI, November 23, 2011 The School Of Power Tennis
Saketh Myneni let slip six match points, but did not allow Karan Rastogi slip from his grasp, as he recorded a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 victory over the third seed in the first round of the $15,000 ITF men's Futures tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Tuesday.
In a battle of wits that lasted two hours and 29 minutes, Saketh rode on his big serves — he had 18 aces — and powerful groundstrokes before winding up the show with a teasing drop on his seventh match point.
The 24-year-old Saketh, a graduate from the University of Alabama and a trainee of coach C.V. Nagaraj from the same school of ‘Power Tennis' as Vishnu Vardhan, lost two tie-breaks after winning the first set against Rastogi at Pune last week.
Playing on his third wild card in as many weeks of professional tennis, Saketh failed to capitalise on a 4-2 lead in the first set, owing to an erratic spell. However, the wiry Hyderabad lad forced the match into a decider with a break in the 10th game of the second set.
Saketh then broke Rastogi in the 12th game of the third set to seal the contest and exact revenge for his Pune loss.
Rastogi played solid tennis but was forced to push himself by the strapping lad across the net.
In the pre-quarterfinals, Saketh, who won the Chennai leg, will be up against the champion of last week, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan. Trying to cope with the slow courts here after relishing the quick surface at Pune, Jeevan took time to settle down against the talented Mohit Mayur, losing the first set with a double fault on set point.
However, Jeevan tightened his game to race away with the next two sets for the loss of just two games.
Vishnu Vardhan through
While Vishnu Vardhan tamed Alexander Satschko of Germany, firing a dozen aces and returning with aplomb, Karunuday Singh pulled out with an injury. Thus, it will be Croat Mate Pavic who will challenge the fifth-seeded Vijayant Malik in the second round.