Chinese Taipei's Tsung-Hua Yang, 16, stepped into the spotlight last week when he put up a brilliant show against eventual winner Prakash Amritraj in the semifinals of the ITF Futures in Dehradun. Clearly, not only does Yang possess immense talent, he is also extremely fit and athletic.
But at the DLTA Courts on Monday, the Delhi summer brought despair to Yang, who lost his qualifying match to Andrew Fitzpatrick of England, 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
Yang later complained of dizziness and illness and held the scorching heat responsible for his loss. “It’s just too hot to play," said Yang. “I wanted to do well here but the heat made it impossible.” Heat got to seventh seed Vijay Kannan too and he conceded the match to England’s Robert Searle 6-7, (6) 1-1.
On a day when ice packs, lime juice and energy drinks were used in large quantities, wild card Tushar Liberhan battled the heat to overcome a struggling Vishal Punna 6-3, 7-6 (9). Both the players started off well but Punna fell behind after failing to return a well-sliced backhand from Liberhan, who earned a crucial break to go 4-2 up. Though Punna broke Liberhan in the very next game with a brilliant drop volley, it soon became evident that he was getting exhausted.
In the second set, after breaking Punna in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead, Liberhan failed to capitalise and was broken in the next game and the set went into a thrilling tie-break. Both the players had their chances -- Liberhan missed a match point at 6-5, Punna wasted a set point at 7-6. Finally, Liberhan clinched the match with a perfect forehand crosscourt winner.
Important results: Aditya Madkekar bt Sarvar Ikramov 7-6 (4) retd., Gursharan Singh bt Dai-Chiao Lin 7-6 (1) retd., Kamala Kannan bt Rohit Choudhary 6-3, 6-3, Mithun Murali bt Vignesh Chandrasekhar 6-3, 7-6, Tushar Liberhan bt Vishal Punna 6-3, 7-6 (7), Doubles: R Gide/Prakash Gupta bt D Sharan/Navdeep Singh 7-5 retd.