Malik shocks Balaji, enters futures tennis final

Coimbatore, June 14 (IANS) Vijayant Malik lined himself up for only his second career title as he overcame top seeded N. Sriram Balaji 7-5, 6-1 to enter the final of the ITF Men’s Futures Tennis Tournament here Friday.

The 23-year-old Malik, seeded three, will take on second-seeded Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan who knocked out Karunuday Singh 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

Malik, ranked 482 to Balaji’s 350, had won the Futures event in Vietnam last year and played inspiring tennis to down his fancied opponent who had annexed the title in Chennai Futures last week.

The results:

Singles (semifinals): 2-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt 5-Karunuday Singh 6-3, 6-3; 3-Vijayant Malik bt 1-N. Sriram Balaji 7-5, 6-1.

Doubles (final): 2-Keith Patrick Crowley (RSA)/Arun Prakash Rajagopalan bt Fariz Mohammed/Vignesh Peranamallur 6-3, 6-2.

Semifinals: Mohammed/Peranamallur bt 1-Sriram Balaji/Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-2, 6-0; Crowley/Rajagopalan bt Neeraj Elangovan/Ajai Selvaraj 6-4, 7-6 (3).

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