Tennis: Prajnesh packs off Crowley

Chennai, May 29 (IANS) Prajnesh Gunneswaran upset the fifth seed Keith Patrick Crowley of South Africa 6-2, 6-4, while the top two seeds Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan also progressed to the third round of the MPTA ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament here Wednesday.

Serving and stroking powerfully, Gunneswaran never allowed Crowley to settle down throughout the match and emerged a convincing winner.

In the longest match of the tournament played so far, eighth seeded Kaza Vinayak Sharma succumbed to the resolute and determined Garvit Batra in three sets, two of which were decided on tie-breaks.

Sharma won the first set 6-4 with a measure of comfort. However, in the second set, Batra attacked consistently to keep pace with Sharma and the tie-breaker was inevitable. Batra won the tie-break 7-2 to draw level.

In the deciding third set, Batra kept up his relentless attack, but the experienced Sharma was up to the task, stroking fluently and did not allow any opening. The set also moved into a tiebreaker.

After three hours and 45 minutes, Batra led 5-4 in the tiebreak when he lost his footing and fell, but he managed to get up and with help of two unforced errors from Sharma, won the tiebreak 7-5, for the match.

The results:

Singles (second round): 8-Karunuday Singh bt Abhijeet Tiwari 2-6, 6-4, 6-1; 2-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Sidharth Rawat 7-6(4), 6-4; Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt 5-Keith-Patrick Crowley (RSA) 6-2, 6-4; 1-N Sriram Balaji bt Lakshit Sood 6-3, 6-2; Garvit Batra bt 7-Kaza Vinayak Sharma Kaza 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(5); 4-Toshihide Matsui (JPN) bt Vignesh Peranamallur 6-4, 6-1; 6-Bumpei Sato (JPN) bt Ronak Manuja 6-4, 6-0; 3-Vijayant Malik bt Jatin Dahiya 6-2, 6-2.

Doubles: 2-Keith-Patrick Crowley (RSA) / Arun-Prakash Rajagopalan bt Neeraj Elangovan / Ajai Selvaraj 6-4, 6-2; Fariz Mohammed / Vignesh Peranamallur bt 4-Kaza Vinayak Sharma / Abhijeet Tiwari 6-3, 6-2; 3-Toshihide Matsui (JPN) / Bumpei Sato (JPN) bt Kunal Anand / Ronak Manuja 6-2, 6-1; 1-N Sriram Balaji / Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Anvit Bendre / Tushar Mandlekar 6-4, 6-3.

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