Asian Tennis: Rawat, Pungliya in semis

Jayesh Pungliya knocked out fourth seed Kunal Anand 6-7(2), 6-0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. It was an impressive performance by the wiry Pungliya, as he turned the match around with his fiery strokes at crunch time.

Jayesh Pungliya knocked out fourth seed Kunal Anand 6-7(2), 6-0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.   -  S. James

Second seed Sidharth Rawat stopped Siddharth Vishwakarma 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the $5000 Asian Tennis Tour men’s event at the DLTA Complex here on Tuesday.

It was a solid performance by the supremely fit Rawat against the wiry left-hander, despite it being his second match. Rawat had overwhelmed Davis Cupper Vijayant Malik with surprising ease, earlier in the evening.

Rawat raced to a 5-1 lead and cruised thereafter despite a fighting performance by his opponent in the semifinal. He had conceded a game to Malik after winning 11 on the trot.

Jayesh Pungliya knocked out fourth seed Kunal Anand 6-7(2), 6-0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. It was an impressive performance by the wiry Pungliya, as he turned the match around with his fiery strokes at crunch time. Pungliya saved a breakpoint in the 12th game of the decider to serve out the match.

Kunal Anand, quite a regular in the international circuit, played well, but lost his grip over the match midway through the decider. He vented his frustration by smashing the racquet on court, for which he was slapped a code violation by the chair umpire.

For his fine effort, Pungliya was rewarded with a semifinal against top seed Vishnu Vardhan, who served strong and stroked with considerable craft in taming the young lad Adil Kalyanpur for the loss of three games.