Niki Poonacha wins maiden ITF title

Niki Poonacha beat Michael Look of Australia 6-3, 6-1 to claim his maiden ITF title in Indonesia on Saturday.

Niki Poonacha beat Australia's Michael Look 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the $25,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament in Indonesia on Saturday.   -  S. Siva Saravanan

Qualifier Niki Poonacha took a dream to its logical end as he beat Michael Look of Australia 6-3, 6-1 in the final of the $25,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament in Indonesia on Saturday.

It was the maiden singles title for the 23-year-old Poonacha, ranked a modest 1111, who has won three doubles titles including one with Davis Cupper Ramkumar Ramanathan.

‘’I feel incredibly happy. It is my first singles title on the Tour, coming after a long wait. It is just a start. I will work hard to win more’’, said Niki, who trains at the Rohan Bopanna tennis academy, with three Serbian coaches.

In winning eight matches on the trot, including three in the qualifying event, Niki beat three Aussies apart from those from Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, Switzerland and the US.

In the $100,000 Aptos Challenger in the US, eighth seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran was beaten 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 by fourth seed Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia in the quarterfinals.

Kokkinakis fired 10 aces, converted three of eight breakpoints, as against six aces and conversion of two of nine breakpoints by Prajnesh.

The Results:
 

$100,000 Challenger men, Aptos, US

Singles (quarterfinals): Thanasi Kokkinakis (Aus) bt Prajnesh
Gunneswaran 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.


$25,000 ITF men, Jakarta, Indonesia

Singles (final): Niki Poonacha bt Michael Look (Aus) 6-3, 6-1.