Vishnu Vardhan in final

The defending champion was on fire as he hammered 15 aces in his 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory against V. M. Ranjeet in the men’s singles semi-finals at the DLTA Complex.

Vishnu Vardhan... set to take on his doubles partner and top seed, Sriram Balaji, in the final.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Defending champion Vishnu Vardhan fired 15 aces while getting past former champion V. M. Ranjeet 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the men’s semi-finals of the Fenesta National tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Friday.

In the final, the 28-year-old, who was ranked a career-best 262 in 2012, will face his doubles partner and top seed, Sriram Balaji. Interestingly, Vishnu and Balaji have won three ITF doubles titles this season.

Balaji, 25, ranked 309 last year, had to ward off a stiff challenge from another former National champion, Mohit Mayur, 7-6 (4), 6-4. With both the players serving big and stroking energetically, it was a lively fare for the appreciative fans on the show court.

Balaji, quite used to the Challenger circuit of late, was easily the better player, but the heavy-looking Mohit belied his appearance to produce a vibrant performance that saw him fire the forehand with admirable authority. Mohit looked to be making a fight of it when he broke Balaji in the third game of the second set, but he dropped serve in the next game to lose the initiative.

There was a final flicker in the ninth game, but Balaji saved four breakpoints to avert danger, and a dispirited Mohit dropped serve at love in the next game.

Vishnu has a 4-3 career win-loss record against Balaji in the international circuit, and had won their previous meeting last year.

Balaji clinched the doubles title with Ranjeet, defeating Shaikh Abdullah and Mohit Mayur to warm up better for the climax.

The good run of players, supported by the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, continued into the women’s event, as former National junior champion Sai Samhitha recovered from 2-4 down in the decider to tame the reigning Asian junior champion Pranjala Yadlapalli.

The three-time champion, Prerna Bhambri, was at home on the show court as she outclassed the former Asian junior champion Snehadevi Reddy for the loss of three games. Prerna had lost to Snehadevi on clay in Hyderabad in the international circuit earlier this season, but was quite fluent on the hard court once she got off to a brisk start.

Snehadevi Reddy won the doubles title with Dhruthi Venugopal, taming top seeds Sowjanya Bavisetti and Rishika Sunkara in straight sets.

In the junior section, Aryan Goveas overcame Nitin Kumar Sinha to set up a title clash with B. R. Nikshep. National junior girls champion Zeel Desai had to slug it out for nearly three hours against Mahak Jain, and will play Sathwika Sama in the final.

The results:

Men’s singles semi-finals: Sriram Balaji beat Mohit Mayur 7-6 (4), 6-4; Vishnu Vardhan beat V. M. Ranjeet 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Men’s doubles final: V. M. Ranjeet & Sriram Balaji beat Shaikh Abdulllah & Mohit Mayur 6-4, 6-7 (4), 10-6.

Women’s singles semi-finals: Prerna Bhambri beat Snehadevi Reddy 6-0, 6-3; Sai Samhitha beat Pranjala Yadlapalli 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.

Women’s doubles final: Snehadevi Reddy & Dhruthi Venugopal beat Rishika Sunkara & Sowjanya Bavisetti 6-4, 6-3.

Boys under-18 singles semi-finals: Aryan Goveas beat Nitin Kumar Sinha 6-4, 6-4; B. R. Nikshep beat Parikshit Somani 6-3, 6-3.

Boys under-18 doubles final: Adil Kalyanpur & Parikshit Somani beat Param Pun & Paramveer Singh Bajwa 6-4, 6-3.

Girls under-18 singles semi-finals: Zeel Desai beat Mahak Jain 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-1; Sathwika Sama beat Prinkle Singh 6-2, 6-0.

Girls under-18 doubles final: Sathwika Sama & Shivani Ingle beat Prinkle Singh and Vaidehi Chaudhari 7-5, 1-6, 10-4.