It was the two aces in a row which finally brought a smile on third-seeded Vishnu Vardhan's face.
The first brought up a match point while the other sealed his berth in the final of the Noida F4 Futures on Friday afternoon. After all, he had toiled for close to three hours under the hot sun to defeat compatriot and friend Karan Rastogi 6-7 (5), 6-1, 7-6 (4). Having worked on his defence in the off-season, the effort showed on court. The more Rastogi attacked, Vardhan kept his shots in check and tried to counter. It worked as he forced Rastogi to make errors.
Serve was always his forte and Vardhan served up a grand total of 27 aces. "The aces were high in this match. I generally try to average around 13-14 in each tie," Vardhan said.
Vardhan will be up against fourth-seeded Young-Jun Kim of Korea in the final. "He is a dear friend on the Tour even though he hardly speaks English. He knows my game and I know his. So, there will be no surprises," he said confidently. Kim ousted top seed Danai Udomchoke 6-1, 6-1 in 39 minutes.