Staying away from something you love can teach you great lessons.
On Saturday, after a comprehensive 6-3, 6-1 victory over top seed Karan Rastogi in the ITF men’s Futures final, Prakash Amritraj made everyone realise just how much this third title on a trot meant to him.
“I was away from tennis for eight months last year due to a wrist injury,” said Amritraj. “I never doubted my ability and returned with a mature head, It feels great.”
Amritraj displayed a wide array of shots to keep Rastogi at bay throughout the match with his brilliant serves.
Rastogi, on the other hand, was let down by his serve as he committed five double faults against Amritraj’s one. “I have been working on my serve but somehow it is just not clicking,” said a dejected Rastogi.
Amritraj broke Rastogi in the opening game itself. Two consecutive double-faults handed Amritraj two break points. Another double-fault and it was game, Amritraj.
Rastogi tried to stage a comeback — he had three breakpoints in the fourth game — but failed to capitalise. Amritraj never looked troubled after that and clinched the set 6-3.
“I played a relaxed game. I played another good match today… it will make me feel really happy about this trip,” said the US based Amritraj. The second set was a stroll in the park for Amritraj. With Rastogi lacking the zeal and fighting spirit to level the match, Amritraj cruised to the title.
“It is a big thing for me to win three titles in a row. Even though satellite events have stronger players, wins here will allow me to make big jumps in the rankings."
“I will be training at home and then I will be playing the Challengers in Chicago,” said the world No. 564.
Amritraj expressed his excitement on celebrating Father’s Day with his father and coach Vijay.
On his best win in India in these three weeks, he said, “Playing Sunil (Kumar Sipaeya) in Chandigarh was my best match. I wasn’t feeling too great but kept fighting and won,” he said proudly.