Tennis: Vesley takes out Nedunchezhiyan

Chennai, Dec 30: Young Jiri Vesley of Czech Republic notched his maiden win on the ATP Tour as he shrugged off a 1-4 first set deficit to overcome wild card entry Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 7-5, 6-2, in a first round match of the $450,000 Aircel Chennai Open here Monday.

Vesley, who at 20, became the youngest to break into top 100 rankings, survived a tentative start while 25-year old Nedunchezhiyan, also in his first tour match, did most of the running but could not match his six-foot, six-inch opponent’s power and went down rather tamely in 83 minutes.

The 85th ranked Vesley was slow off the blocks, but came into his own as the match progressed and used his height to advantage to wear down Nedunchezhiyan who turned error prone towards the latter part of the match.

At the start though, it was Nedunchezhiyan, ranked 314, who was more impressive as he unleashed winners to jump to a 4-1 lead in the first set.

However, Vesley came up with the breaks to catch up and then broke the Indian in the 11th game for 6-5 before holding serve in the 12th to take the set 7-5.

In the second set, Nedunchezhiyan dropped serve in the first game, but broke back for 1-1. Thereafter, it was the tall Czech all the way as two more breaks of serve put Vesley, who jumped 176 spots from 260 to 84 in 2013 season, in the clear and he finished the match in a flourish.

Also through to the second round was Chinese Taipei’s Lu Yen-Hsun who put out Tim Smyczek of the US 6-4, 6-2, on the outside court.

Earlier, Ramkumar Ramanathan qualified for the main draw of the singles event by defeating a higher ranked Norbert Gombos of Slovakia 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3, and will play fellow-Indian Somdev Devvarman in the first round.

The results:

Main Draw – Singles: Lu Yen-Hsun (Taipei) bt Tim Smyczek (US) 6-4, 6-2; Jiri Vesley (CZE) bt WC-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 7-5, 6-2.

Doubles (1st round): WC-Karen Khachanov (RUS)/Saketh Myneni (IND) bt Pablo Pablo Carrena Busta /Albert Ramos (ESP) 6-1, 7-6 (7).

Qualifying (winners enter main draw): Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) bt Norbert Gombos (SVK) 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3; Radu Albot (MDA) bt Phillip Oswald (AUT) 6-3, 6-4; Henri Laaksonen (DEN) bt Illya Marchenko (UKR) 4-6, 6-3, 7-5; Alexander Kudryavtsev (RUS) bt Frederik Nielsen (DEN) 6-3, 6-4.