Karan Singh upsets 7th seed Huang enroute to pre-quarters of PET ITF Mandya Open

Karan Singhandya: Karan Singh of India won a long battle against seventh seed Tsung-Hao Huang of Taipei to make it to the pre-quarterfinals of the PET ITF Mandya Open. The 20-year-old scripted a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory on a day when Indians faced a bag of mixed luck at the PET Stadium here on Wednesday.

The newest face in the Indian Davis Cup team and local favourite eighth seed SD Prajwal Dev squandered away his chances after being three match points up in the final set and went down to Yunseok Jang of Korea 2-6, 7-5, 5-7 in a battle that lasted over three hours. In the other upset of the day, Thijmen Loof of the Netherlands sent home sixth seed M Rifqi Fitriadi of Indonesia 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-1.

The other Indians to advance to the round of 16 included fourth seed Sasikumar Mukund who beat country mate Kabir Hans in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 while former Davis Cupper Vishnu Vardhan saw the back of Austrian David Pichler with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory. Madhwin Kamath also made it to the pre-quarterfinals with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over Kazakh Grigoriy Lomakin.

With most of the matches going to the wire, three matches were stopped half-way between owing to bad light.

Delhi lad Karan Singh who is touted as one of the most talented players in the country, began on an even keel against his Taipei opponent. After the first seven games went with the serve, Huang broke the Indian’s serve in the eight game and served out for the set 6-3. In an exact reverse of the first set, Karan who trains with Vivek Shokeen and has been focusing on his serve and volley approach, broke the seventh seed’s serve in the eighth game and took the second set 6-3, by which time, he had gained the required momentum.

After achieving a break in the third game in the final set, Karan took a deciding 3-1 lead. After a long battle, Huang held his serve in the fifth game. However, the Indian came up with some superb backhand shots which not only unnerved his fancied rival but gave him an upper hand as he once again broke Huang’s serve in the eighth game. During the fag end of the match, Huang hit it in the net even as Karan’s racquet had slipped out of his hand.

Results Singles (Round of 32)

Yunseok Jang (KOR) bt 8-SD Prajwal Dev 6-2, 5-7, 7-5; 5-Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) bt Q-Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan 6-2, 6-3; 4-Sasikumar Mukund bt Kabir Hans 6-3, 6-4; Mitsuki Wei Kang Leong (MAS) bt Q-Rishi Reddy 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; Ofek Shimanov (ISR) BT Q-Shivank Bhatnagar 6-2, 6-4; 1-Kris Van Wyk (RSA) bt Q-Faisal Qamar 6-1, 7-6 (2); Thijmen Loof (NED) bt 6-M Rifqi Fitriadi (INA) 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-1; 3-Orel Kimhi (ISR) bt Rishab Agarwal 6-3, 4-6, 6-2; Karan Singh bt 7-Tsung-Hao Huang (TPE) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Q-Vishnu Vardhan bt David Pichler (AUT) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4; Q-Madhwin Kamath bt Grigoriy Lomakin (KAZ) 6-3, 7-6 (6); Manish Sureshkumar Vs. 2-Giles Hussey (GBR) 6-7 (4) (interrupted); Siddhant Banthia Vs. Jelle Sels (NED) 4-6 (interrupted); Ishaque Eqbal Vs. Matt Hulme (AUS) 7-6 (4), 2-2 (interrupted).