It's Prajnesh vs Balaji

It's Prajnesh vs Balaji

The top two seeds Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N Sriram Balaji took contrasting routes to the men’s singles final of the $15,000 ITF Futures tennis tournament at the KSLTA courts here on Friday. 

The second seed Balaji staved off a strong challenge from the unseeded Karunuday Singh to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 while top seed Prajnesh stopped the German sixth seed Sami Reinwein 6-4, 6-4.

The two Indians were also finalists at the Bhilai ITF last weekend, with Prajnesh taking crown. 

In the first semifinal, Balaji struggled to get into his groove in the first set and paid the price in the seventh game when he dropped serve with three mishits on the backhand.

Karunuday grabbed a 4-3 lead and stayed on course to claim the set at 6-4.
 Balaji was however back in business in the second set as he kept his rival on the run with his well directed returns.

The 26-year-old worked up lot more power with his serve and forged ahead 5-3, breaking Karunuday in the eighth game.

Balaji, despite a double fault, had no difficulty in holding his serve in the ninth game to take the set.

In the decider, Balaji survived a break-point in the fourth game and kept Karunuday at bay with a sensible approach, keeping the rallies going and finding winners at the right moments. Karunuday faltered in the 11th game and with that decisive break, which gave Balaji a 6-5 lead, there was no stopping the second seed as he went on to win the match.

In the other semifinal between two southpaws, Prajnesh had a much easier outing against Renwein.

In the doubles final, the second seeded Sood twins –– Chandril and Lakshit –– defeated the top-seeded pair of Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan 2-6, 6-4, 10-6 to clinch the title.

DH News Service
Results: Singles: Semifinals: 2-N Sriram Balaji bt Karunuday Singh 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; 1-G Prajnesh bt 6-Sami Reinwein (Ger) 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles: Final: Chandril Sood/ Lakshit Sood bt Sriram Balaji/Vishnu Vardhan 2-6, 6-4, 10-6.

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