Vishnu, Balaji win first round match in ITF meet

Vishnu, Balaji win first round match in ITF meetMysore: Vishnu Vardhan and N. Sriram Balaji had an easy day as they won their first round matches of the $10,000 Zuari Garden City Mysore ITF Open tennis tournament here Monday.

Second seed and Davis Cupper Vishnu Vardhan played to his full potential with powerful first serve and strong forehand. He just took 50 minutes to subdue the challenge of Kunal Anand 6-1, 6-2.
Vishnu raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set breaking Anand in the second game and again in the sixth before holding serve to take the set.

In the second set, however, Anand put up a much better show as he came up with strong forehand returns. Though Vishnu broke him in the third game, Anand came back strongly with a break in the fourth game as he forced his opponent into errors on his forehand.

However, Anand failed to keep up the pressure as he dropped his own serve again in the fifth game. Vishnu broke again in the seventh for 5-2 lead and closed the set and match at 6-2.

Seventh seeded Balaji, the former junior Davis Cupper, defeated Fariz Mohammed 6-3, 6-2 in another lop-sided opening match which lasted just one hour.

Balaji broke Fariz in the fourth game and won the first set 6-3. Balaji began the second set on a decisive note cracking Fariz in the very first game, but had to fight hard to save two breakpoints before taking firm grip on the match with a break of serve in the seventh to win handily.

In the other singles matches, Francesco Vilardo of Italy defeated Sidharth Rawat 6-4, 6-4, while Abhijeet Tiwari outplayed qualifier Tejas Chaukulkar 6-1, 6-2.

In the doubles first round, the Indo-Chinese pair of Venkat Iyer and Bowen Ouyang rallied to beat second seed Vijayant Malik and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 while in another upset, Kunal Anand and Ajai Selvaraj defeated the third seeded Indo-Australian tandem of Zach Itzstein and Ashwin Vijayragavan 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-8.

The results (Indians unless mentioned; prefix indicates seedings):

Singles (first round): 2-Vishnu Vardhan bt Kunal Anand 6-1, 6-2; Sidharth Rawat bt Francesco Vilardo (ITA) 6-4, 6-4; Abhijeet Tiwari bt Tejas Chaukulkar 6-1, 6-2; 7-N Sriram Balaji bt Fariz Mohammed 6-3, 6-2.

Doubles (first round): Shahbaaz Khan / Sumeet Shinde bt Sagar Ahuja / Saurabh Patil 6-2, 7-5; Jatin Dahiya / Yogesh Phogat bt Vishwanath Savadi / Darshan Srinivasa 6-3, 6-2; Scott Poudziunas (AUS) / Gavin Van Peperzeel (AUS) bt Vinod Gowda / Suraj R Prabodh 6-3, 6-1; Venkat Iyer (IND) / Bowen Ouyang (CHN) bt 2-Vijayant Malik / Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 4-6, 6-3, 10-8; 4-Kaza Vinayak Sharma / Abhijeet Tiwari bt Sidharth Rawat / Aaditya Tewari 7-5, 7-5; 1-N Sriram Balaji / Arun-Prakash Rajagopalan bt Sebastien Boltz (FRA) / Francesco Vilardo (ITA) 6-3, 6-3; Kunal Anand / Ajai Selvaraj bt 3-Zach Itzstein (AUS) / Ashwin Vijayragavan (IND) 7-6(4), 3-6, 10-8; Neeraj Elangovan / Fariz Mohammed bt Wari Sornbutnark (THA) / Kittiphong Wachiramanowong (THA) 6-2, 6-4.