Vishnu crashes out; Jeevan in quarters
Davis Cupper Vishnu Vardhan crashed out of the men's singles pre-quarterfinals of the USD 15,000 CCI-ITF men's Futures Tennis tournament here today.
Apart from Vishnu, other seeded players in N Sriram Balaji, Saket Myneni and Vijayant Malik also bowed out of the tournament after losing their respective matches.
However, sixth seeded Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who recently lifted the men's title in the senior nationals, made it to the quarterfinals with a hard-fought victory.
Vishnu, who survived a gruelling three-setter against another Secunderabad rival Ashwin Vijayraghavan in round one yesterday, dropped the opening set against Croatia's Mate Pavic 5-7 before he conceded the match. Pavic would take on Indian eighth seeded Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan.
"I was having stiffness in the knee," Vishnu, who is currently ranked 272, said after the match.
Vishnu has also pulled out of next week's Futures in Pune and "will take a call" later on next month's Challenger event in Yokohama, Japan.
Also making an exit was third seeded Sriram, who was beaten after a two-and-a-half hour battle against Britain's James Marsalek, a quarter-finalist at last week's Qatar Futures in Doha.
The 20-year-old Marsalek, who practised for five days against US Open champion and London Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray before reaching Qatar, won 4-6 6-2 6-4.
Marsalek, ranked 570 in the world after being 681st last year-end, would meet India's Purav Raja, who shocked seventh seeded Malik 7-5 4-6 6-4 in two hours and 18 minutes.
The other seeded Indian casualty, Myneni, lost to Micolas Reissig of Austria 6-2 4-6 5-7.
Jeevan registered a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over compatriot Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash.
Vishnu started off well against Pavic, their first head-to-head encounter, by taking a 3-1 lead.
Broken back immediately, the Indian snatched another break of serve to lead 4-2 only for the Croatian to strike back and then make it 4-4 with a break of serve in the 6th game.
Games then went with services till 5-5 before Pavic broke Vishnu for a 6-5 lead and then held serve to win the opening set.
The Indian top seed conceded the match thereafter.
Sriram took the opening set against Marsalek with a break in the eighth game but was broken back immediately by the British player.
But another break in the next game helped the Indian win the opening set.
Sriram had an early break to be 2-1 up but his opponent changed his tactics and shortened the rallies. He reeled off five games in a row to clinch the second set to level the scores.
Adopting the same strategy, Marsalek broke the third seed in the first and fifth games to have a commanding lead. Though Sriram retrieved a break in the 8th, the Briton managed to hold his serve in the tenth and emerged victorious.
The results (Pre quarter finals): James Marsalek (GBR) bt N Sriram Balaji (IND) 4-6 6-2 6-4, 8-Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan (IND) bt Kaza Vinayak Sharma (IND) 6-1 6-4; Mate Pavic (Croa) bt 1-J Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 7-5 (conceded); 2-Christopher Rungkat (INA) bt Arjun Kadhe (IND) 6-4 6-3; Nicholas Reissig (Aut) bt Saket Maineni (IND) 2-6 6-4 7-5; 4-Liang-Chi Huang (Tpe) bt Jui-Chen Hung (Tpe) 6-2 6-3; Purav Raja (IND) bt 7-Vijayant Malik (IND) 7-5 4-6 6-4; 6-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) bt Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash (IND) 4-6 6-3 6-2.