KPIT MSLTA ATP Challenger: Vishnu Vardhan fights it out, but falls short to Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesov
At Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi, Vishnu lost the first set 3-6 but raised his game in the second and took the match into a decider with a 6-3 win. In the third set, both players kept their serves and were going neck to neck till 6-6. In the tie-breaker, Vishnu started well with a 3-0 lead and soon raced to 5-2. But, Nedovyesov won the next five points in a row, galloping to victory.pune Updated: Nov 13, 2017 20:37 IST
Olympian Vishnu Vardhan (Rank-410) came back strongly against higher-ranked (Rank-245) Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan and was almost on the verge of winning with a 5-2 lead in the deciding tie-breaker. However, he learn the brutal lesson that things can go wrong any moment as Nedovyesov snatched the victory as the Indian wild card’s challenge came to an end in the first round of the $50,000 KPIT MSLTA ATP Challenger on Monday.
At Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Balewadi, Vishnu lost the first set 3-6 but raised his game in the second and took the match into a decider with a 6-3 win. In the third set, both players kept their serves and were going neck to neck till 6-6. In the tie-breaker, Vishnu started well with a 3-0 lead and soon raced to 5-2. But, Nedovyesov won the next five points in a row, galloping to victory.
Interestingly, Vishnu had lost his previous match at the same venue in February this year. After Saket Mayneni’s injury, Vishnu was included in the Indian Davis Cup team at the last minute. He and Leander Paes went down to New Zealand’s Artem Sitak and Michael Venus 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 3-6 in the Asia-Oceania Group 1 doubles tie.
Vishnu was clearly disappointed with the turn of the events but took the loss with spirit.
“That’s the beauty of the game, anything can happen in such a close match. I didn’t do anything wrong, he played better tennis today and he deserved the win,” Vardhan said after the match.
“We started off a bit rusty and gave away early breaks. As the game progressed, we started understanding each other’s game. He was good in returns and I realised that I have to serve better. So in the second and third set, I improved my serve and it made a difference,” he added.
During the match, both players were not convinced with the lineman’s calls and openly displayed their disapproval. When asked about it, Vishnu said, “I feel the calls were close, but it’s my perspective. Everyone tries to be their best on court and we played over 200 points in two hours. Therefore, it could have been me who was wrong and not the referee. It’s not a big issue.”
Though, Vishnu’s challenge in the singles came to an end, he has strong hopes in the doubles. Vardhan, pairing with N Sriram Balaji, have already won three Challenger titles this season and are looking for another one in Pune.
“We had a good run this year and hope to continue our momentum and play well utilising our strengths,” said Vishnu.
Vishnu participated in the 2012 London Olympics in the men's doubles category, partnering with Leander Paes.The pair crashed out after a 7–6 (7-3), 4–6, 6–3 defeat against French Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michaël Llodra.