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Sport - Tennis Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Vinod Sridhar bundled out

By A. Joseph Antony

HYDERABAD, SEPT. 9 . Vinod Sridhar, ranked second in the International Tennis Federation Futures tournament, crashed out in the singles quarterfinals at the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh complex here on Thursday, losing 2-6, 2-6 to Tai Wei Liu.

Sixth-seeded Vijay Kannan also succumbed to favourite Aqeel Khan 3-6, 6-7(5) and eighth-ranked Vishal Punna to Ajay Ramaswami 4-6, 2-6.

In a fight between two left-handers, Liu packed more punch against Sridhar, with his deep returns throwing open the latter's court time and again. He broke serve in the third and fifth games of the first set and ditto in the second.

The big-built Chinese Taipei native's searing serves rendered Sridhar's returns either feeble or ineffective.

On the other hand, Liu had no trouble handling Sridhar's serve. A burning desire to win was not very visible in Vinod's approach, but amply evident in the Chinese player's aggressive stroke-play.

Seventh-seeded Chris Kwon threw up twice on court, reeling from fatigue but came back from a set down to subdue Sanam Singh 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3. "All I could do was fight. It was a dangerous combination I was up against — my own terrible state and the fact that he was playing well. Sanam has a bright future," Kwon added in admiration.

The 19-year-old from Boca Raton, who defeated world junior champion Gael Monfils at Roehampton last year, needed medication midway through the tussle. When the second set went into the tie-break, he played his cards well, sparingly using his aces and ignoring returns that needed much running.

Sanam ran this way and that, hoping to regain the upper hand he held in the opening set. Stamina didn't seem to be his forte though as he doubled up with a side strain in the sixth game of the third set. Nor was he able to match the firepower of Kwon, whose recovery was slow but steady.

Ajay Ramaswami overcame stomach cramps and Vishal Punna, beating him 6-4, 6-2, thus ending Hyderabad's hopes. The latter rushed to the net a shade too often without enough back-up from a good serve. Nothing seemed to go right for Vishal, whose unforced errors were many. But Ajay's angled, deep and penetrative forehand returns landed the spoils.

The results (all Indians, unless indicated otherwise): Singles (quarterfinals): Chris Kwon (USA) bt Sanam Singh 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3; Tai Wei Liu (Tpe) bt Vinod Sridhar 6-2, 6-2; Ajay Ramaswami bt Vishal Punna 6-4, 6-2; Aqeel Khan (Pak) bt Vijay Kannan 6-3, 7-6(5).

Doubles (semifinals): Mustafa Ghouse/Ajay Ramaswami bt Ashutosh Singh/Gurmehar Singh 6-2, 6-4; Chris Kwon/Tai-Wai Liu bt Jaco Mathew/Vinod Sridhar 6-0, 6-3.

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