Sweden’s Elias Ymer Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets to take the men’s singles title at the $50000 MSLTA KPIT Challenger at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune on Saturday. A complete player, Ymer won his second ATP title of the year and second in three weeks.
Over-worked limbs becoming a hinderance became a distinct possibility as Prajnesh stepped on the centre court in quest of back to back ATP titles. Ymer, himself, was in a similar position.
After the semi-final win on Friday against top seed Albot Radu, the 29-year-old Indian talked about the toll playing professional tennis almost every day takes on the body. And playing his tenth match in 11 days, in a title match worth 80 ATP points, Prajnesh appeared to be listless as he consistently found the net, even on his forehand.
Ymer kept the ball in play, smashing and slicing it, and broke Prajnesh in the sixth and eighth games.
As the Swede kept getting better after winning the first set, Prajnesh, a far cry from his best, hung on, even getting a break point in the ninth game of the second set. But Ymer managed to hold serve.
Prajnesh held the tenth game at love, but lost the 12th at love, that in a way suggested that nerves had taken over at a crucial stage of the match where the Swede was in complete control.
Silver lining for India
There was a silver lining for India though as Ramkumar Ramanthan and Vihay Sundar Prashanth won the doubles title at the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger. They defeated third seeded Chinese pair Tsung-Hua Yang and Cheng-Peng Hsieh 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 10-7 in a pulsating final.
This was Ramkumar's first doubles title on the ATP Challenger circuit.
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