Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ITF Kalaburagi Open: Ramkumar Ramanathan clinches singles crown, second title in a row

Ramkumar Ramanathan pocketed his third ITF title in a span of 57 days as he won the ITF Kalaburagi Open at the Chandrashekhar Patil Stadium here on Sunday. In an almost one-sided final, Ramkumar brushed aside the challenge of his Austrian rival David Pichler in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 in 64 minutes.

The Indian Davis Cup player pocketed the winner’s cheque of US $3200 and 25 precious ATP points while the runner-up got US $2120 and 16 ATP points.

“It feels great to win back-to-back titles. My game is coming along good. I did play some of my best tennis in these last two weeks. The courts here didn’t suit my game initially, but I adapted to them very quickly,” said Ramkumar after the win.

Playing in front of a home crowd in a packed stadium, Ramkumar was already morally boosted even before he hit his first serve. After both the players had held their serve for the first five games, Ramkumar made the first dent by breaking Pichler’s serve in the 6th sixth game and dished out some superb winners to capture the rest of the games to win the set 6-2.

The second set promised a fightback from David when he held his serve losing just a point, but Ramkumar had different plans. Moving with great tenacity, he forced Pichler to commit mistakes and himself came up with a couple of crosscourt winners which drew cheers from the crowd that could be heard a mile away.

The only game Ramkumar struggled to hold his serve was in the 5th game where the Indian Davis Cup team member didn’t find answers to Pichler’s down-the-line winners. With two breaks in the 4th and 6th game, Ramkumar signed off with an ace to almost blank his opponent at 6-1 to win the crown.

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