Vishnu sails into quarters

After the high of 2012, things were quick to go awry for Vishnu Vardhan. He spent a large chunk of last year rehabilitating from right-knee tendonitis that limited his presence on the international circuit. He made a successful return by clinching his second National Grasscourt Championship in January before his body once again gave away to the rigours of grueling sport.

Now, back after a break of nearly three months, a fit-again Vishnu, seeded second, is eager to translate his success on grass to the hard surface, where he was the runner-up in 2011. His second round 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over Kunal Anand will give him a lot to ponder over even though the 27-year-old believed he was improving with each match.

In fact, the way he started it looked just a matter of time before Anand would fold in. The first set was over in a jiffy. Vishnu packed his groundstrokes with power and precision and went on to lead 4-1 in the second before a slip in concentration and errors allowed Anand to even out things. Anand by now was serving and stroking with conviction and the set spilled into the tie-break. Vishnu, however, controlled the proceedings from the start to prevail.
He next meets Chandril Sood in quarterfinals.

Earlier on the same court, top seed Karunuday Singh was once again stretched to three sets, this time by PC Vignesh before pulling off a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory for a place in the quarterfinals. Brilliant in snatches, Karunuday is still in search of the consistency he would need against the seeded players in the draw. Vignesh gave his all but came up short in the decider, whereas Karunuday played with intensity to seal the issue on his fifth match point.

He would now play former champion VM Ranjeet.

In the women’s singles, top seed Rishika Sunkara was engaged in over three-hour battle against Riya Bhatia before winning 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 win. After pocketing a closely fought opening set, Rishika’s game fell apart in the second to force a decider. She trailed 2-4 before digging in her heels to win the set and the match. She plays Vaishnavi Reddy for a place in the semifinals.

Second round: Men's singles: 1-Karunuday Singh bt PC Vignesh 6-4,3-6,6-3; 2-Vishnu Vardhan bt Kunal Anand 6-1,7-6(3), 3-Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash bt Saurav Sukul 6-2,6-1, 4-Nitin Kirrtane  bt Siddharth Vishwakarma 6-2,6-2, Siddharth Rawat bt 5-Shaikh Abdullah 6-3,3-6,6-0, Chandril Sood bt Rakshit Rishi 6-4,6-3, Ronit Bisht bt Garvit Batra 7-6 (4), 6-1, V.M Ranjeet bt Suraj R Prabodh 6-3,7-6 (3).

Women's singles: 1-Rishika Sunkara bt Riya Bhatia 7-5,1-6,7-5, 2-Shweta Rana bt Aashima Garg 6-1,6-2, 3-Prerna Bhambri (Seed 3) bt T Palani Vale 6-1,6-1, Sharon Paul bt Preethi Ujjini 6-2,6-1 6-Vaishnavi Peddireddy bt  Abinikka Renganathan 6-4,6-2, 5-Amrita Mukherjee bt Anjali Thakur 6-1,6-1;4-Vaniya Dagwal bt Ramya Natrajan 6-2,3-6,6-1;7-Karman K Thandi bt Simran K Sethi 7-5,6-3.

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