The sixth seeded German Sami Reiwein came through a tough three-setter against third seed Vishnu Vardhan 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3 to enter the singles semifinal at the USD 15,000 ITF Futures tournament here on Thursday. For nearly two sets, the match was neck-and-neck with neither player ceding an inch without a fight. Under a blazing sun, the two drew each other into monotonously long rallies.
The first set, predictably, went to a tie-break where Vishnu, after blowing three set points, finally took it 9-7. In the second, Reiwein broke Vishnu's serve to go ahead 4-2 only to give up the advantage in the very next game. On break point, Vishnu hit a fine on-the-run pass to get back on serve. But it didn't please Reiwein, who thought the ball had landed wide. Much to the amusement of those present, the 24-year-old even asked the chair umpire, who was seated on the other side of the court, if he was “Jesus Christ who could make a call even without seeing where the ball landed.”
At 5-5 in the second set, however, all the fun was snuffed out when Vishnu suffered severe cramps on his left leg. The 29-year-old limped through the rest of the match but the result was never in doubt.
Reiwein will now take on top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who beat fifth seed Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-3, 6-3. It was not as flattering a win as the scoreline suggested. Prajnesh was broken once in the first set and he nearly gave up his serve again in the second but stabilised in time to record the win.
The other semifinal will be between N. Sriram Balaji and Karunuday Singh who recorded straight set wins over Sidharth Rawat and Haadin Bava respectively.
The results (Indians unless specified)
Singles: Quarterfinals: N. Sriram Balaji bt Sidharth Rawat 6-3, 6-3; Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-3, 6-3; Sami Reiwein (Ger) bt Vishnu Vardhan 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3; Karunuday Singh bt Haadin Bava 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles: Semifinals: Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Alexander Centenari (USA) & Reiwein 7-6 (3), 6-0; Chandril Sood & Lakshit Sood bt Jeson Patrombon (Phi) & Vijay Sundar 4-6, 6-1, [10-8].
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