Chennai: Former national champion Sriram Balaji won the singles title in the ITF Future Tennis Championship after he scored a straight-set win over Switzerland`s Joss Espasandin 6-3, 6-4 in the final held at the MCC Courts here on Saturday.
In the first set, Balaji broke Joss in the fourth game and then held serve confidently before winning it 6-3. At the end of the first set, Espasandin needed a medical time-out apparently due to hot and humid conditions.
At the start of the second set, Sriram seemed to have lost in concentration and allowed himself to be broken by his rival, who led 2-0. Balaji took little time to find his composure once again and broke Joss in the following game and then held serve to level at 2-2.
Once again in the ninth game, Balaji, playing consistently and solidly, broke Joss and won the match serving two aces to win the 10th game. Sriram collected a winner`s purse of Rs. 65,000 (USD 1300) and Joss received Rs. 45,000 (USD 900).
N Sankar, Chairman Sanmar Group, gave away the prizes and Mrs Subramaniam, wife of the late S R Subramaniam, gave away the `S R Subramaniam Rolling Trophy` to winner Sriram Balaji.
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal