Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saketh Myneni stuns top seed to clinch maiden ATP Challenger title

Myneni Indore Open Trophy
Indian youngster Saketh Myneni clinched his maiden ATP Challenger level singles title after getting the better of Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan in a hard-fought three setter in the Indore Open on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Saketh, ranked as low as 451, showed a lot of character against the top seeded Kazakh player to post a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 victory in a final battle that lasted a little over two hours at the Indore Tennis Club. 

With this victory, Saketh, who won a gold and silver in doubles at the recent Asian Games in Incheon, earned 80 points in the ATP rankings. 

Saketh had earlier won two doubles Challenger-level titles this season with compatriot Sanam Singh. Besides, he had reached quarterfinals in Karshi and in Chennai Challengers earlier this season. 

The top seeded Kazakh started on a positive note, getting 80 per cent of his first serves right in the opening set, even as Saketh mixed up his serves to keep his rival on his toes. 

And the moment Nedovyesov faltered for the only time in the set, Saketh capitalised on the breakpoint to run away with it 6-3. 

The second set also saw Saketh in fine form, serving seven aces. But the world no. 118 fought hard to stay alive in the contest as he managed to save as many as three breakpoints to take the set to the tie-break. 

In the tie-break, Saketh committed a couple of unforced errors and that was enough for the Kazakh to draw level at a set apiece, taking the match to the decider. 

It was a complete domination by Saketh in the third and final set and he barely conceded two points on his serve until the final game. 

Saketh broke Nedovyesov in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead and it seemed as if the Indian would comfortably wrap up the match, more so with the Kazakhstan player unable to make any inroads into Saketh's serve. 

However, serving for the match at 5-3 (40-15) in the final set, Saketh showed signs of nervousness as he let go of both the match points and allowed his opponent to draw deuce for the first time in the set. 

The Indian then managed to hit an ace to set up yet another chance for himself but he subsequently let go off two more match points before finally wrapping it up.

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