Vishnu Vardhan wins Astana Challenger doubles title

The Indian’s victory in partnership with Toshihide Matsui of Japan was the biggest doubles title of his career.

Vishnu Vardhan and Toshihide Matsui with their doubles trophy on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

Vishnu Vardhan in partnership with Toshihide Matsui of Japan beat the Russian pair of Evgeny Karlovskiy and Evgeny Tyurnev 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 10-7 in the doubles final of the USD 125,000 Challenger in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Saturday.

Winning the biggest doubles title of his career that fetched 110 ATP points and a prize purse of USD 7,750, was a moment to cherish for the 29-year-old Vishnu who is trained by long-time coach C. V. Nagaraj. “Last week me and Matsui lost in the first round of an ITF event, after having six match-points, but we kept our head high and worked together for a fortnight. It has been incredible week and am thrilled with this win,” said Vishnu.

He particularly praised former national champion Ashutosh Singh, “for taking time out and pushing me when I was in Delhi in between my tournaments which kept me motivated.”

In the same breath, Vishnu thanked his trainer Mohamed Abdul Latheef for keeping his “physical fitness levels high,” and the Telangana State for extending support to help him play a “full schedule of tournaments.”

After having competed in the London Olympics with Leander Paes in 2012, Vishnu had lost a lot of time over the next two years owing to injuries. He was happy to regain his best standard. Meanwhile, Yuki Bhambri was beaten 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 by Alexander Sarkissian of the U.S. in the quarterfinals of the USD 75,000 Challenger in Canada. He had to be content with 15 ATP points and USD 2190.

Top seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan and Rajeev Ram of the U.S. were at their best in taming Leander Paes and his Aussie partner Sam Groth from the brink of defeat for a 4-6, 7-6(6), 11-9 victory, in the doubles semifinals of the ATP Tour event on grass in Newport.

In the ITF women’s tournament in Egypt, former Asian junior champion Rutuja Bhosale who has strengthened her game while graduating from the U.S., made the singles semifinals and the doubles final.

The results

USD 600,345 ATP Hall of Fame Open, Newport, U.S.

Doubles (semifinals): Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) & Rajeev Ram (U.S.) bt Sam Groth (Aus) & Leander Paes 4-6, 7-6(6), 11-9.

USD 125,000 Challenger men, Astana, Kazakhstan

Doubles (final): Toshihide Matsui (Jpn) & Vishnu Vardhan bt Evgeny Karlovskiy & Evgeny Tyurnev (Rus) 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 10-7.

USD 75,000 Challenger men, Galtineau, Canada

Singles (quarterfinals): Alexander Sarkissian (U.S.) bt Yuki Bhambri 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

USD 15,000 ITF women, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Singles (quarterfinals): Rutuja Bhosale bt Eva Siska (US) 6-4, 6-2.

Doubles (semifinals): Mayar Sherif (Egy) & Rutuja Bhosale bt Federica Prati (Ita) & Elina Vikhryanova (Rus) 6-1, 7-6(4).

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