Mankad will face Bopanna in singles final
CHANDIGARH, APRIL 4:Wild card Rohan Mankad is in line for a double in the $ 10,000 India F5 Futures ITF Men’s Circuit being played at the CLTA Stadium in Sector 10 here. Partnering Rupesh Roy, Mankad took just one hour and eight minutes to shock third seeded pair of Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in the one hour and eight minutes in the doubles final at the centre court today.Earlier, playing an impired game after losing the first set, Mankad, ranked 1331, caused a big upset as he stunned third seed Hyun-Wood Nam of Korea, ranked 524th in three closely-contested sets. Mankad won 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the singles semi-final which lasted 160 minutes.
Tomorrow, Mankad will be facing the toughest challenge of the tournament as he is pitted against top seed and 328th ranked Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna who ousted left handed unseeded Divij Sharan, ranked 727th, in straight games 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 58 minutes.
Watched by All India Tennis Association secretary general secretary Anil Khanna, CLTA chairman Rajan Kashyap, Rohan Bopanna and left handed Divij Sharan dished out good tennis. With a fastest serve of 125 miles per hour, Bopanna fired 14 aces in reply to four by Divij Sharan. Divij committed nine double faults while Bopanna committed only four.
The longest game of the tournament was recorded today. Deuce was call as many as ten times in the seventh game of the first set before Bopanna broke his rival to gain a 4-3 lead and held his serve to make it 5-3. The next two games went with the serve and Bopanna clinched it at 6-4. Earlier, Sharan was broken in the third game in which he committed two double faults.Divij Sharan hit back by breaking back Bopanna at love in the fourth game to make it two-all.
Maintaining his pressure, Bopanna commenced the second set by breaking Divij Sharan in the first game. Trailing 2-4, Divij Sharan won seventh, eighth and ninth games to take a 5-4 lead, the break coming in the eighth game. After holding his serve to make it five-all, Rohan Bopanna won the 11th and 12th games also to clinch the issue. Serving under tremendous pressure, Sharan committed two double faults to be broken. An electrifying back-hand down-the-line shot gave Bopanna three match points as he led 40-0 on his serve in the 12th game. Bopanna wrapped up the match with an ace.
The 160-minute of marathon tennis between Hyun-Woo Nam of Korea and Indian Harsh Mankad kept the spectators spell-bound. Both hitting fluent strokes, the first set went with the serve till the eighth game (4-all). However, Mankad committed a double fault to be broken in the in the ninth game to give Nam 5-4 lead. The Korean then held his serve to bag the first set at 6-4. The second set was virtually repeat of the first. After tied four-all, Nam was broken in the 10th game and Mankad won at 6-4 to level the score.
In the deciding third set, Nam broke Mankad in the first game. However, Mankad rose to the occasion and the never-say-die spirit helped him to break Nam in the sixth and 12th games and won at 7-5.
Mankad fired three aces and committed five double faults. Nam scored five aces and committed four double faults.
Results: Singles (semi-finals): 1-Rohan Bopanna (Ind) bt Divij Sharan (Ind) 6-4, 7-5 (118 minutes); WC-Harsh Mankad (Ind) bt Hyun-Woo Nam (Korea) 6-4, 4-6, 5-7 (160 minutes).
Doubles (final): Harsh Mankad and Rupesh Roy (Ind) bt 3-Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja (Ind) 6-3, 6-4 (68 minutes).