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India hopes hinge on Vijay Kannan
- Marcel Felder of Uruguay plays a forehand against India's Harsh Mankad at BTA Complex Wednesday. Felder won 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Pictures by Santosh Ghosh

Calcutta: Vijay Kannan remained the lone Indian in the singles fray after the second round of the Exide ITF menís Futures tennis meet on Wednesday at the BTA complex here.

Fifth seed Harsh Mankad bowed out to qualifier Marcel Felder of Uruguay while Kamala Kannan fell to Austriaís Zbynek Mlynarik. Eight seed Daniel Lesske of Germany went down to Alessandro Da Col of Italy. Top-seeded Dutchman Fred Hemmes was stretched by another qualifier, Vadim Davletshin of Russia before winning 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.

Among the big guns to fall was Pakistani third seed Aisam Qureshi. He lost 3-6, 6-2, 2-6 against Japanese qualifier Naoki Animoto.

Qureshi, the conqueror of Leander Paes in the city leg of the ITF Challenger in 2000, lost in 104 minutes.

The Pakistani kept alive hopes in doubles, moving into the second round with Dutch partner Fred Hemmes. They won 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 against the Thai pair of Sonchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana.

Vijay overcame Jerome Almagrida of France 6-4, 1-6, 6-2. The Indian, who was bothered by the heat, broke Almagrida in the fourth game and raced to a 5-2 lead in the first set. In the eighth, Almagrida retained his serve and broke Kannan in the next to reduce the margin to 5-4 in his favour.

Serving to save the set, the Frenchman was soon down 0-40 but came back strongly with some hard hitting ground strokes to take the score to deuce. A double fault at this stage sealed his fate.

In the second set, Vijay could retain his serve only in the first game and lost the next three to surrender the advantage. In the final set, Almagrida was broken in the third and seventh games.

Harsh was prevented from entering the round of eight by Felder in a two-hour 12-minute duel. The Uruguayan won 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. The Indian committed too many unforced errors. In the first set, he was broken in the third, fifth and ninth games. He managed to strike back twice breaking Felder in the fourth and eighth games.

In the seventh game of the second set, Harsh managed to save four break points before retaining his serve in the seventh game. He could have taken the set 6-3 but failed to convert the set point at Felderís serve. Felder was broken in the fourth, sixth and tenth games.

The decider saw Harsh serving five double faults, two each in the third and seventh games. The Indian was broken in the third, fifth and seventh games while Felder was broken in the second game.

The Indian pairs of Mankad and Vishal Uppal and Vijay Kannan and Ajay Ramaswami moved into the semi-finals. Both pairs got walkovers from their overseas opponents.

RESULTS

SINGLES, second round: Fred Hemmes (Ned) bt Vadim Davletshin (Rus) 6-0, 2-6, 6-4; Alessandro Da Col (Ita) bt Daniel Lesske (Ger) 6-0, 6-2; Zbynek Mlynarik (Aut) bt Kamala Kannan (Ind) 6-0, 6-1; Jasper Smit (Ned) bt Toshihide Matsui (Jpn) 7-5, 2-6, 6-4; Vijay Kannan (Ind) bt Jerome Almagrida (Fra) 6-4, 1-6, 6-2; Naoki Arimoto (Jpn) bt Aisam Qureshi (Pak) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2; Marcel Felder (Uru) bt Harsh Mankad (Ind) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Matwee Middelkoop (Ned) bt Giuseppe Menga (Ita) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-2).

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