Unseeded Vijay Kannan upset fourth seed Aqeel Khan of Pakistan after a marathon battle to move into the semifinals of Oil ITF Men's Futures tennis.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
New Delhi:Unseeded Vijay Kannan upset fourth seed Aqeel Khan of Pakistan after a marathon battle to move into the semifinals of the $10,000 Indian Oil ITF Men's Futures tennis tournament today. Kannan needed two hours and 24 minutes to quell the challenge of Aqeel 6-1 7-6 (7/5) and will now face Chris Kwon of the USA for a berth in the summit clash. Kwon, who will be playing his second successive semifinal, thrashed wild card Sanam Singh 6-4 6-1 to remain the only non-Indian in the fray now. In the other quarterfinal matches, fifth seed Vinod Sridhar packed off third seed Vishal Uppal 7-5 6-3 while second seed Sunil Kumar Sipaeya defeated Jaco Mathews 6-1 7-6 (7/4). Kannan, who had accounted for sixth seed Mustafa Ghouse in the first round, was undeterred by the late start due to rains and raced to a 3-0 lead breaking Aqeel's serve in the second game. He went on to break his opponent again in the sixth and then served with precision to pocket the first set. With Kannan breaking Aqeel in the first game of the second set, it looked like early curtains for the Hyderabad-leg winner but the Pakistani national champion fought back to level scores at 2-2 before breaking his opponent's serve in the seventh game to take the lead. The Indian broke back immediately and then made it 5-4 in the ninth and looked poised to wrap up the match. But it was not to happen. Though Kannan earned two match points, Aqeel came up with some fine baseline play to force the set into the tiebreaker. (PTI)