ITF Mandya Open: Escoffier to play Singh in final
MANDYA (Karnataka), May 22: The stage is set for an intense title tilt in the Mysore Minerals Ltd Men’s ITF $10,000 Mandya Open singles event at the PET Sports Complex on Saturday Morning.
Finalists, tournament third seed Karunuday Singh and top seed Antoine Escoffier took contrasting routes to make it to the final with a three-setter and straight sets victory in the semi-finals respectively.
Singh was sluggish to start with being broken in the very first game of the first set. However the lad from the capital made amends and managed to level game scores at 6-all to enforce the tie-breaker, which his Lucknowvi opponent, Ronit Singh Bist, clinched winning two consecutive points with the score reading 6-6 again.
The Indian third seed got into his groove to decimate his country mate in the second set, breaking his serve in the fifth and seventh games to take the set 6-2.
Bist raised the level of his game to ensure he held serve all through to set up another tie-breaker in the decider which he leveled at 5-5. But Karunuday’s experience and better tennis saw Bist bowing out.
In the second semi-final, Frenchman Escoffier had it rather easy with former Davis Cupper Vishnu Vardhan rushing the net once too many times allowing for the top seed lots of angles to play some pleasing passing shots.
The players held serves until the eighth game before Vishnu’s unforced errors enabled Escoffier earn that one break of serve to win 6-4.
The second set saw the players holding serve although Vishnu did have his chances of breaking the top seed. But Escoffier either came up with stunning replies or Vishnu stumbled.
In the ensuing tie-breaker, Escoffier ran up a 3-0 lead. But Vishnu fought back to level at 4-4 before the Frenchman won three points in a row to seal his place in the final.
Escoffier has reached seven ITF finals but has come a cropper against better opponents. Ironically, one of players to have beaten him is Karunuday Singh, two years ago at Chennai.
While Escoffier chases his first ITF title on Saturday, Karunuday is after his third having won a title in India in 2011 and one in Philippines in 2014.
BENDRE-WAGH CLINCH DOUBLES CROWN
The second seeded Indian pair of Anvit Bendre and Akash Wagh, pairing up for the fifth week in a row, clinched the doubles crown with a 2-6, 6-4, 10-6 victory over Taipe’s Jui-Chen Hung and India’s Sasi Kumar Mukund to claim 18 ATP points and $ 310 each.
Their earlier finishes have been, semis, semis, final, semis.
Hung and Mukund had to be satisfied with 10 ATP points and $ 180 each.
The men’s singles final will be held at 10 a.m on Saturday.
Results (Prefix denotes seeding):
Singles (Semi-final): (3) Karunuday Singh (Ind) bt Ronit Singh Bist 6-7 (6), 6-2, 7-6 5); (1) Antoine Escoffier (Fra) bt (8) Vishnu Vardhan 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Doubles (Final): (2) Anvit Bendre/Akash Wagh (Ind) bt Jui-Chen Hung (Tpe)/Sasi Kumar Mukund (Ind) 2-6, 6-4, 10-6.