Top-seeded Vishnu Vardhan of India survived a first set scare before outlasting Liang Chi Huang of Taiwan in a tense three-setter to secure a place in the quarterfinals of the US$15,000 ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament at the National Training Centre yesterday.
“It took a lot out of me and heat was a factor to reckon with,” said Vardhan after his 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory spread over two hours.
For nearly one-and-a-half sets, the Taiwanese youngster was flitting about the court with great purpose, often cutting off the big Indian with some solid forehands.
“He is a very good retriever who throws back everything at you,” added the 387th ranked Indian. “I couldnt quite figure out what was going wrong for me.
“I had to curb my instincts to serve and volley. When I started to stay back and rally I felt a lot better.”
Liang was unflappable after he broke through early to seal the first set. However, the Indian right-hander began to exploit the chinks in the armour of his opponent and scored a break in the third game of the second set.
Several games were pretty close calls for Vardhan, but the top seed managed to cling on as the visibly tired Liang made several unforced errors at the start of the third and could never quite get back into the contest.
A lively quarterfinal match-up awaits Vardhan against the left-handed Russian, Ervand Gasparyan, who blasted out a 6-3, 6-4 victory over 2009 Australian Junior Champion Yuki Bhambri of India.
Gasparyan fired a high percentage of service winners as he quickly sorted out the 18-year-old from New Delhi, using powerful forehands as his weapon of choice. A brief second set rally by Bhambri was then quickly quashed by the Russian.
The day’s most impressive winner was Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke, who consistently outrallied Korean qualifier Dae-Soung Oh 6-1, 6-2.
“I am happy with my serve,” said Danai. “Oh is the kind of a player who loves to keep the ball in play from every part of the court. So I had to mix my strokes up a bit and it worked quite well for me.”
The Thai No 1 will now take on India’s Rohan Gajjar, who had no qualms in dealing with Japan’s Shuichi Sekiguchi. The Indian right hander was all over the Japanese youngster in the first set and secured an early break in the second to run out a 6-3, 6-4 winner.
Thailand’s No 2 player Kittipong Wachiramanowong, a wild card pick here, came through his second round against India’s N Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 6-2 without much ado. However, fellow Thai national Weerapat Doakmaiklee was outslugged by Sato Bumpei of Japan 6-1, 7-5.
Later yesterday, Austrian second seed Nikolaus Moser was too consistent for his rival Kirati Siributwong of Thailand. Moser took time to settle down, but once he did there was no stopping him, taking the match 6-4, 6-2.
Third seeded Toshihide Matsui of Japan was stretched to the limits of his ability by Indonesia’s Elbert Sie in two well-contested sets. In both sets, the Japanese star played the big points better to emerge a 7-5, 7-5 winner.