Mandya: Orel Kimhi emerged as the champion of the PET ITF Mandya Open in front of a packed Sunday crowd at the PET Stadium. In a fast-paced final match, the third seeded Israeli beat Jelle Sels of The Netherlands 6-2, 6-4 to win his third ITF title.
Kimhi was richer by US $3600 but more importantly earned 25 ATP points while the runner-up took home US $2120 and earned 16 ATP points for his effort.
The scoreline did not justify the intense competition and the quality tennis witnessed by over 500 fans who cheered for every minute of the 2 hour-two minute battle. While Sels adopted an aggressive approach, Kimhi played some cautious yet effective shots. The first four games went with the serve with Sels setting the tone of the match with holding his serve in a prolonged first game.
Kimhi drew the first blood when he broke Sels’ serve in the fifth game which unnerved the Dutch a bit. Adding to Sels’ worries, Kimhi also played some deft cross court winners as he broke his rival’s serve once again in the seventh game without committing many errors as compared to Sels and took the set 6-2 which lasted for 52 minutes.
Sels was a different player in the second set as he attacked with vengeance and raced to a 3-1 lead with a break in the fourth game. However, the 28-year-old got broken in the very next game. Both the players attacked the net but it was Kimhi who was successful most of the time. At 4-4, the 20-year-old achieved the crucial break in the ninth game where he saved 3 game points and then served out for the match.
Orel Kimhi (ISR) bt Jelle Sels (NED) 6-2, 6-4