Karan Singh served big and stroked with intensity to beat the reigning national champion and second seed Manish Sureshkumar 7-5, 6-4 in the pre-quarterfinals of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Karan was on cruise mode when he led 5-1 in the second set, but a bout of nerves on his part, and a compact game by Manish who was not giving an inch away, saw the fight brewing stronger.
However, Karan was able to serve out the match in the tenth game much to the delight of the National Tennis Centre coaches Zeeshan Ali and Arun Kumar.
“I was sick for nearly ten days before this tournament. I came here on Sunday, and played my first match yesterday. I just tried to play my best”, said Karan.
Apart from Karan, two other trainees of the NTC, Digvijay Pratap Singh and Nitin Kumar Sinha also made the quarterfinals.
Nitin beat his doubles partner and former national champion Vishnu Vardhan 7-5, 6-2. Digvijay tamed the towering Chirag Duhan with his better court craft.
Niki Poonacha overcame nervous moments in the climax to beat Nicholas Bybel of the USA 7-6(1), 2-6, 7-5. He will play Karan. Interestingly, Karan has a 2-0 record in the pro circuit against Niki.
Faisal Qamar overcame qualifier Lakshit Sood in a tight match to set up the quarterfinals against Digvijay.
The wiry Siddharth Vishwakarma was quite explosive to start with as he blanked Madhwin Kamath in the first set, but the latter made a fight of it before bowing out in the third set. Siddharth will challenge top seed Oliver Crawford.