In what turned out to be a mixed day for the Indian top-seeds in the ongoing Air-Asia ATP Challenger Tour, former Olympian Vishnu Vardhan, who paired up with Wimbledon Junior doubles champion Sumit Nagal, came back from behind to win their doubles game against the Czech-Russian pair of Michal Konecny and Alexander Kudryavtsev 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-6, in an epic duel. The duo, who looked patchy in the first set, returned strongly after the set-break to push the second set to a tie-breaker and eventually won the set 7-6(4). The Indian pair, especially Nagal, seemed pretty animated going into the final set, shouting widly and encouraging the crowd to go behind them. The Czech-Russian duo had a slender lead in the beginning of the third set, but a series of unforced errors and the rare double-fault once again pushed the duel to a tie-breaker. Both teams fought hard in the decider, but the Indians eventually came out on top, winning10-6. The final set saw a bit of drama, with a clearly irate Michal Konecny screaming in frustration, lobbing at the tennis balls, two of which landed outside the stadium.
In an all-Indian doubles clash, which happened at the same time, wild-card entrants Chandril Sood and Lakshit Sood outclassed the Indian duo Somdev Devvarman and Christopher Marquis in straight sets 7-6(3), 7-6(2). With the small crowd in the stadium cheering for Somdev and his partner, the Sood brothers did not mind the underdog tag and played remarkable tennis, sending in long rallies and completely controlling the netside. The duo had greater understanding among themselves and communicated more sharply than Somdev and Christopher. The stronger pair, however, managed to push both sets to tie-breakers. But the brothers eventually had the final say, and showed their authority by smashing their way to an unlikely win.Published 19 Oct 2015, 21:01 IST