Ram Kumar triumphs

Ram Kumar triumphs

GAIL lad prevails over Vishnu to clinch singles title

Ram Kumar triumphs

It was a big day for teenaged Ram Kumar Ramanathan of GAIL, who exacted sweet revenge against Olympian Vishnu Vardhan of ONGC to lift the men’s singles title in the PSPB inter-unit tennis championship here at the KSLTA courts on Saturday.

Ram Kumar, who burst into the scene when he beat Somdev Devvarman at the Chennai Open this year, rallied from a set down to beat Vishnu 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a match that lasted two hours and twenty minutes.

In the deciding third set, both players held serve till the 11th game when Ram Kumar nudged ahead before sealing the deal on his service to win the tie.

“I am pleased with the win, which came after a tough contest,” said Ram Kumar, 19, who was the top seed at the event.

The quick-starting Vishnu surged ahead with an early service break in the first set to take a 3-0 lead before Ramanathan broke back to restore parity at 3-3. Vishnu returned the complement with interest to take the first set 6-4.

The narrative was reversed in the next set as Ram Kumar started the brighter of the two to take a 4-1 lead.

Vishnu had a chance with two break points but squandered them that gave the opportunity for Ram Kumar to consolidate before taking the set 6-2.

An unfortunate net cord gave Ram Kumar the opening in the 11th game of the third set and he utilised it to maximum effect. The Chennai-based Ram Kumar was later named as the player of the tournament.

Results (all finals):
Men’s singles: Ram Kumar Ramanathan (GAIL) bt Vishnu Vardhan (ONGC) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Veterans singles: Tejbir Singh (IOCL) bt V  Bhushan Akut  7-5, 6-0.
Veterans doubles: Hakim Ali/ Kalyan Das bt Jitin Mishra/ Bhorupuzari DJ (ONGC) 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 10-6.