Ti Chen to face Vishnu Vardhan in ITF title round

Ti Chen to face Vishnu Vardhan in ITF title roundBangalore: Top Seeded Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei, ranked 301, saved a match point to beat a feisty fourth seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the semi-finals and set up a title clash with second seed Vishnu Vardhan who defeated fifth seed Ranjeet Virali Murugesan 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 in the $10,000 Toyota ITF Open Men's Futures tennis tournament here Friday.

The clash between Nedunchezhiyan and Chen was a high voltage affair lasting 145 minutes as the top seed was under pressure.

Nedunchezhiyan served superbly and hit some huge forehand winners, but to Chen's credit the Chinese Taipei Davis Cupper came up with some solid returns and was virtually unbeatable at the net.

Chen showed amazing resilience to claw his way back from a hopeless situation after Nedunchezhiyan took the first set with breaks in the third and ninth games and was down 4-6 in the second set tie-break and then faced a match point at 6-7.

Chen first leveled at 6-all to get back into contention and then held his nerve at 6-7 before wrapping up the set when Nedunchezhiyan mishit twice.

The match turned in Chen's favour as he broke Nedunchezhiyan in the second game and led 4-1. However, Nedunchezhiyan saved three match points on his serve trailing in the eighth game and broke Chen in the ninth to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Chen, however, regrouped quickly as he broke Nedunchezhiyan again in the 10th and wrapped the set and match for a spot in the final.

A relieved Chen said: "I was lucky in the tie-breaker which went my way. After the turnaround, I was determined not to give in. Jeevan serves big and he had really put me under pressure, but I am happy I came good at last."

In the rain-interrupted second semi-final, Vishnu Vardhan warded off a strong challenge from Murugesan and prevailed in two hours 45 minutes.

Vardhan, as usual, served big, firing 25 aces in the match and was very consistent with his forehand. Murugesan strived hard with solid returns and kept up a good pace, but Vardhan had a better success rate on big points.

In the first set, Vardhan broke Murugesan traded early breaks for 2-all. Vardhan then came up with a crucial break in the fifth and went on to take the set at 6-4.

With the second set going with serve, the tie-breaker became inevitable. Murugesan built an early 4-1 lead to level the scores aided by three outright winners.

Vardhan started the decider with a break in the second game before heavy showers stopped the proceedings for about 40 minutes. On resumption, Vardhan sustained the momentum to run out deserving winner. (IANS)