Chen stumbles into semis of ITF meet

June 14th, 2012 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 14 (IANS) Top seed Ti Chen (Chinese Taipei) survived a scare while overcoming un-seeded Ashwin Vijayragavan 7-6 (7), 6-3 in 102 minutes en route to the semi-finals of the $10,000 Toyota ITF Futures men’s tennis tournament here Thursday.

Joining Ti Chen in the penultimate round were second seed Vishnu Vardhan, fourth seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and fifth seed Ranjeet Virali Murugesan.

The battle between Vijayragavan and Chen was engrossing with the Indian making the top seed earn every point.

Vijayraghavan matched Chen stroke for stroke, but his first serve was a let-down while his failure to score on big points went against him.

In the first set, Vijayraghavan broke Chen and led 4-3 before the top seed broke back in the eighth and made it 4-all. Both waged a battle of attrition in the 10th game that saw Vijayraghavan saving a couple of break points and holding serve after eight deuces.

The next two games went to serve. In the tie-break, Vijayraghavan was in the driver’s seat leading 6-1, but Chen produced ‘two aces and pulled himself into contention with a neat volley to make it 6-all and went on to take the tie-break 9-7.

In the second set, Vijayraghavan seemed to be low on morale and made quite a few unforced errors as Chen with two breaks in the third and ninth games sealed the match.

Much was expected in the other quarter final tie between Vishnu Vardhan and N. Sriram Balaji, who contested in the final at Mysore last week. However, the tie proved to be a one-horse race as Vardhan was in his elements while winning 6-0, 6-4.

Murugesan, with an attacking tennis, defeated the third seed Vijayant Malik 6-2, 6-3 in 80 minutes while Nedunchezhiyan ousted Thai challenger Warit Sornbutnark 6-1, 6-2.

In the semi-finals, Nedunchezhiyan meets Chen while Murugesan takes on Vardhan.

The tops seeds Arun Prakash Rajagopalan and Sriram Balaji are in line for their third successive doubles title as they entered the final beating Abhijeet Tiwari and Ashwin Vijayragavan 5-7, 6-2, 10-8 to set up a clash with Nedunchezhiyan and Murugesan, who defeated Malik and Kaza Vinayak Sharma 6-4, 6-4.

The results (Prefix denotes seeding, Indian unless mentioned):

Singles (quarter-finals): 5-Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan bt 3-Vijayant Malik 6-2, 6-3; 4-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Warit Sornbutnark (THA) 6-1, 6-2; 1-Ti Chen (TPE) bt Ashwin Vijayragavan 7-6 (7), 6-3; 2-Vishnu Vardhan bt 6-N Sriram Balaji 6-0, 6-4.

Doubles (semi-finals): 1-N Sriram Balaji / Arun Prakash Rajagopalan bt 4-Abhijeet Tiwari / Ashwin Vijayragavan 5-7, 6-2, 10-8; 2-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan / Ranjeet Virali Murugesan bt 3-Vijayant Malik / Kaza Vinayak Sharma 6-4, 6-4.

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