ITF Tour: Zeel Desai goes down in marathon final in Cairo

India's Zeel Desai fought for three hours and 55 minutes before going down to Sandra Samir 7-5, 6-7(6),2-6 in the final of the ITF tournamnet in Cairo.

Zeel Desai had won a singles title in the ITF professional circuit in Gwalior in 2017. She has also won four doubles titles on the Tour. (File Photo)   -  R. Ragu

Fifth seed Zeel Desai missed a match point as she went down 7-5, 6-7(6),2-6 in three hours and 55 minutes by top seed Sandra Samir in the final of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday.

In a see-saw battle, she recovered from being down 0-3 in the second set and saved two set points. But she missed a match point at 7-6 in the tie-break as Sandra forced the decider.

Sandra fired two aces in the end, one to save a break point and the other to seal victory in the eighth game of the third set. The 22-year-old Sandra served four aces in the match and converted eight of 16 break points that she forced.

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Zeel converted seven of 16 break points in the match, and won 119 points to 133 by Sandra.

It was a commendable performance by the 21-year-old Zeel who had earlier lost the doubles final.

Zeel had won a singles title in the ITF professional circuit in Gwalior in 2017. She has also won four doubles titles on the Tour.

Meanwhile, in the $108,320 Challenger in Mexico, the fifth seeded Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, occupying the position of the top seeds in the draw, were beaten 7-5, 6-4 in the doubles semifinals by the Brazilians Orlando Luz and Rafael Matos.

The Indian pair collected 35 ATP points and $2,160.
 

The results:

->$108,320 Challenger, Monterrey, Mexico Doubles (semifinals):

Orlando Luz & Rafael Matos (Bra) bt Sriram Balaji & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 7-5, 6-4.

->$15,000 ITF women, Cairo, Egypt Singles (final):

Sandra Samir (Egy) bt Zeel Desai 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-2.

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