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Vishnu Vardhan bags 2nd Challenger title, defeat for 4 other Indians

Vishnu Vardhan and Toshihide Matsui pipped Russia’s Evgeny Karlovskiy and Evgeny Tyurnev 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 10-7 in a tight final of the President’s Cup in Astana.

tennis Updated: Jul 22, 2017 15:25 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Vishnu Vardhan,Leander Paes,ATP Challenger
Indian tennis player Vishnu Vardhan won his second Challenger title on Saturday.(HT Photo)

Vishnu Vardhan won his second Challenger level title of the season with Japanese partner Toshihide Matsui but four other Indians, including Leander Paes, tumbled out of various ATP events across the globe.

Vardhan and Matsui pipped Russia’s Evgeny Karlovskiy and Evgeny Tyurnev 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 10-7 in a tight final of the President’s Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Vardhan and Matsui saved three of the four breakpoints they faced in the summit clash, which lasted one hour and 44 minutes. The win got Vardhan the biggest title triumph of his career.

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Vardhan had won Fergana title last month with compatriot N Sriram Balaji and had ended runner-up in Samarkand with Prajnesh Gunneswaran.

Vardhan, ranked 179th, has already won six ITF Futures doubles titles this season.

“It has been an incredible week, it is the biggest title so far of my career after a bad injury lay-off in 2013 and 2014. I am really happy to be back at this level,” Vardhan told PTI from Astana.

“Last week, me and Matsui lost in the first round of an ITF event, having six match points. But we kept our head high and worked together for a fortnight,” he added.

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Vardhan credited former national champion Ashutosh Singh, who is now a coach, for helping him with his game.

“Ashutosh helped me, taking his time out and pushing me when I was in Delhi in between my tournaments which kept me motivated,” he said adding that his Hyderabad-based coach CV Nagraj and trainer Latheef have also played a crucial role in his progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Paes and his partner Sam Groth made a semifinal exit from the ATP 250 Hall of Fame Open in Newport (USA), following a 6-4 6-7(6) 9-11 defeat to Pakistan’s Aisam ul-haq Qureshi and America’s Rajeev Ram.

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Losing the quarterfinal of the same event was the Indian pair of Divij Sharan and Purav Raja. They lost 6-7 (5) 6-7 (4) to the Australian team of Matt Reid John-Patrick Smith in Newport.

In singles, Yuki Bhambri went down fighting in the quarterfinals of Gatineau Challenger in Canada. He suffered a 3-6 6-4 4-6 defeat against America’s Alexander Sarkissian.

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 15:25 IST