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Sridhar to meet Kannan in final

September 17, 2004 14:13 IST

Fifth seed Vinod Sridhar overcame some anxious moments to upset second seed Sunil Kumar Sipaeya to enter the final of the US $10,000 Indian Oil ITF Men's Futures tennis tournament in Delhi on Friday.

Sridhar, who had not dropped a single set before the semi-final, had to fight off a loss in concentration before brushing aside the challenge of Sipaeya 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 6-2 in one hours 54 minutes.

Later, Vijay Kannan had little trouble in defeating Chris Kwon of the United States 6-4, 6-3 to set up an all Indian summit clash.

Sridhar would, however, not be happy with the fact that he needed three sets to make it to the final, considering that he had his opponent cornered in the first set before losing in the tie-breaker.

The Tamil Nadu player had raced to a 2-5 lead and then could not capitalise on two break points in the eight game and to add insult to injury lost his serve in the very next to allow the second seed to come back in the match.

Sipaeya latched on to the opportunity and played aggressively in the tie-break to take the first set.

But Sridhar recovered his composure before it was too late and broke Sipaeya in the very first game of the second set and then raced to a 4-1 lead, breaking his opponent in the fifth game as well.

Though, Sipaeya got one break back in the sixth game and then had three break points in the eighth but Sridhar managed to hold his nerves and came up with some scintillating winners to take the tie in the decider.

The beginning of the third and final set was quite similar to that of second set with the fifth seed breaking Sipaeya in the very first game.

It was no looking back from there for Sridhar as he held on to his serves from there and then broke Sipaeya in the eighth game to take the match.

In the other semi-final, Kannan was confidence personified against his 19-year-old opponent and needed just one hour 15 minutes to bring an end to the fine run of Kwon, who had accounted for top seed Norikazu Sugiyama in the second round.

Kwon, hoping to cap off his three-week tour of the sub-continent with a title triumph in New Delhi after a win in Sri Lanka and a semifinal appearance in Hyderabad, failed to negotiate the serves of Kannan, who won his last three service game dropping just one point in the bargain.

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