Chandigarh: Top seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and second seed Sanam Singh faced stiff resistance from their opponents before prevailing in straight sets in their respective first round matches of the USD 10,000 ITF men`s Futures tournament, here on Tuesday.
Jeevan overcame compatriot Abhijeet Tiwary 6-3 6-4 while Sanam battled past Taipei`s Jui-Chen Hung 6-2 7-5 on court one at the CLTA stadium. Left-handed Jeevan lost his serve in the very first game of the match but came back strongly to reel off four straight points to take a 5-3 lead and served out the set.
The second set was 3-3 as Tiwari kept fighting hard. Jeevan had a break chance in the seventh game but could not convert. However, he capitalised on his next chance in the ninth game and served out the match in the 10th.
Jeevan will fight it out with compatriot Vishnu Vardhan for a place in the quarterfinals. Vardhan had to dig deep to beat national hard courts champion and qualifier Mohit Mayur Prakash 4-6 6-3 6-4 in his opening round.
Sanam pocketed the first set in a jiffy as he let Hung hold his serve only once even as the local boy also dropped his serve in the fourth game. However, the Taipei player threatened to turn the tables on Sanam despite dropping serve in the first game of the second set. Trailing 1-3, looking down and out, Hung saved two break chances in the fifth game and won three games on the trot to take a 4-3 lead.
Sanam saved a breakpoint in the eighth game and converted a chance on the Hung`s serve in the 11th game to again take advantage. He easily served out the match in the 12th. In other matches, Sasi Kumar Mukund trounced compatriot Anvit Bendre 6-1 6-1 to set up a second round clash with Dutch Antal Van der duim, who recorded an identical win against Indian qualifier Tejas Chaukulkar.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.