Jeevan thrashes Prateek, Balaji fights off Chandril Sood

Raipur: Top seed Jeevn Nedunchezhian recorded his 50th singles win of the season on the ITF circuit when he trounced wild card Prateek
Pushkar Baxi 6-0 6-0 while second seed N Sriram Balaji battled past Chandril Sood 6-4 3-6 6-2 in the USD 10,000 Futures tournament, frmo Tuesday.

Prateek, who was playing his maiden match on the ITF pro circuit, had a break point in the very first game but that was the only good time he enjoyed in the contest.

Left-handed Jeevan saved that break chance with an ace and never looked back from there, handing the new-entrant a tough lesson in his first outing.

Jeevan has had a stupendous season, in which he cliched one singles title and ended runner-up in four other events. In the doubles, he pocketed five titles out of seven finals.

Balaji, who came into the tournament after winning title in Bhopal last week, faced stiff resistance from Chandril.

Balaji, laid low by mild fever, struggled with his serve today, committing 10 double faults but reined in his errors just in nick of time to extend his stay in the tournament.

The intriguing fight was on from the first set, which Balaji won, riding on a break. He lost serve in the very first game of the second set and
Chandril kept that mini lead with him to draw parity.

Things were not rosy for Balaji in the deciding set as again he was down a break early. But he broke back in the third game and saved a chance in the fourth to make it 2-all.

He pounced on his second break chance in the fifth game and held sixth for a 4-2 cushion. Two breaks pegged Chandril back and Balaji ran away with the match.

In other matches, fifth seed V M Ranjeet did not have to sweat much against Kazakhstan qualifier Timur Khabibulin as he scored an easy 6-2 6-1 win.

Eight seed N Vijay Sundar Prashanth too had it easy 6-2 6-1 scoreline against Shaikh Abdullah.

Arjun Kadhe knocked out Kumara P Saradhi Adavelly 6-2 6-2 while qualifier Ronak Manuja lost 4-6 5-7 to fellow qualifier Sasi Kumar Mukund. Kaza Vinayak Sharma lost 6-7 4-6 to Swiss Luca Margaroli.

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