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Abhimanyu Vannemreddy secures wild card berth for junior French Open

Abhimanyu Vannemreddy overcame stiff challenge from Hikaru Shiraishi to book a wild card berth for main event of the junior French Open

tennis Updated: May 29, 2017 18:11 IST
Ashutosh Sharma
Ashutosh Sharma
Hindustan Times, Paris
French Open,Abhimanyu Vannemreddy,Roland Garros
Abhimanyu Vannemreddy defeated Hikaru Shiraishi in Rendezvous Raland Garros final. (HT Photo)

Abhimanyu Vannemreddy, 17, struggled but finally managed to beat Japanese opponent Hikaru Shiraishi in three sets 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, to win the Rendezvous Roland Garros title and also secure a wild card berth to the main event on Saturday.

Vannemreddy, trained by former Indian Davis Cupper Vishal Uppal, was quick off the blocks in the first set and broke his Japanese opponent Hikaru Shiraishi in the first game itself. Holding his serve Abhimanyu Vennamreddy soon opened up a 4-nil lead before Shiraishi reduced the margin.

Breaking his opponent twice, Vannemreddy closed the first set easy 6-1. Shiraishi, meanwhile, was struggling to cope with the heat and suffered a nose bleed. But despite being a set down, Shiraishi showed great tenacity and managed to comeback in the second set waging a valiant battle.

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Despite being 2-4 down with Abhimanyu Vannemreddy breaking his serve in the sixth game, Shiraishi fought his way back into the match to force the tie into the third set. Nursing a nose bleed, Shiraishi changed tactics using drop shots to put pressure back on Vannemreddy.

Shiraishi broke Vannemreddy in the seventh and ninth games to bring the match to an even keel. However, in the third set, Vannemreddy once again exerted pressure and managed to open up a 4-0 advantage breaking his opponent twice in the second and the fourth games.

At 5-1 and serving for the match Vannemreddy had to yet again endure a late charge before finally sealing the set 6-1.

“I hope, I can keep going and winning more matches. This is just a beginning for me and it’s a huge opportunity. I never came to Europe and this is first time. I am happy,” Abhimanyu said after the win.

Coach Vivek Satyajit deputed by AITA, was happy with the result. “He played calm and kept his cool. He kept to game plan and didn’t lose his concentration. His opponent played well but I am happy that Abhimanyu stuck to his plan and deserves to win,” Vivek said.

First Published: May 27, 2017 21:48 IST