Mysuru, March 31 (IANS) India’s S.D. Prajwal Dev showed immense tenacity in carving a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) win over compatriot Mukund Sasikumar to waltz into the singles semifinals of the Cycle Pure Agarbathi ITF Mysuru Open 2023 at the Mysore Tennis Club on Friday.
Mysuru lad Prajwal, a world No 1027, came as the underdog against fourth-seeded Mukund, a world No 401, but dished out a performance that masked the difference in ranking.
Cutting back to the match, once Mukund won the first set 6-1, a centre for him seemed the most possible outcome. But Prajwal showed massive dollops of fighting spirit despite being down by a break in the second set to win it 7-5 eventually.
Both the players battled neck-and-neck in the decider as it stretched to the tie-break. Prajwal played the crucial points a lot better in the tie-break to come out as the winner after a battle that lasted precisely 3 hours.
“It was a very close match. I was down a set and a break in the second set but I stayed tough and I wanted to stay as close as possible to him and take my chances. I am happy that I was able to do that in the second set. I was again down in the third set but I did well to get back to the match and I am happy to get over the line,” said Prajwal after the match.
“In semis, I need to stay solid with my serve, ground shots and take my chances and probably attack a little bit more. If I serve well, I can do other aspects of the game well,” he said.
In the semis, Prajwal will face George Loffhagen. Earlier, unseeded Loffhagen of Britain continued his winning spree in the tournament, beating India’s Karan Singh 7-6(4), 6-3.
“It was a good match and I am happy about the way I served. He was a tough opponent, especially during the long rallies, so I am happy to get through the match,” said Loffhagen after the match.
In the doubles, the top-seeded Indian pair of B. Rithvik Choudary and Niki Poonacha strolled past fourth seeds and compatriots Parikshit Somani and Manish Sureshkumar 6-3, 6-3 to enter the final.
Later, Mukund Sasikumar made up for his defeat in singles when he along with Vishnu Vardhan reached the doubles semifinals, defeating Indian duo Faisal Qamar and Fardeen Quamar 7-6(7), 3-6, 10-7 in a match carried over from Thursday.
Results (Singles, QF): S.D. Prajwal Dev (IND) beat (4) Mukund Sasikumar (IND) 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(4); (2) Oliver Crawford (USA) beat Florent Bax (FRA) 6-4, 6-0; George Loffhagen (GBR) beat Karan Singh (IND) 7-6 (4), 6-3; (8) Ellis Blake (AUS) beat (3) Orlov Vladyslav (UKR) 7-6 (4), 6-4
Results: Doubles (Quarterfinals, Carried over from Thursday): Mukund Sasikumar (IND)/Vishnu Vardhan (IND) beat Faisal Qamar (IND)/Fardeen Quamar (IND) 7-6(7), 3-6, 10-7
Results: Doubles (Semifinals): (1) B Rithvik Choudary/Niki Poonacha (IND) beat (4) Parikshit Somani/Manish Sureshkumar 6-3, 6-3