| Zbynek:Firing on all cylinders
Calcutta: Zbynek Miynarik of Austria set up a final clash with Uruguayan Marcel Felder at the Exide ITF menís Futures tournament at Bengal Tennis Association Complex Friday.
Zbynek defeated Italian Alessandro da Col 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours. Felder also dropped a set, against Japanese giant killer Naoki Arimoto, before winning 6-2, 3-6, 6-1.
There was some cheer in the Indian camp as well. After a disappointing run in singles, the pair of Harsh Mankad and Vishal Uppal reached the doubles final with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-0 win over Daniel Lesske of Germany and Jasper Smit of The Netherlands.
Da Col started well against Zbynek. He slammed two aces in the second game of the match and broke the Austrian in the third. Zbynek failed to convert two break points in the fourth game but broke even in the sixth.
But the Italian broke Zbynek again in the ninth game and slammed two aces in the tenth to close out the set. He hit six aces in the first set.
Zbynek, who beat Rohan Bopanna in the Mumbai Futures final last week, lifted his game by several notches in the second set and started firing on all cylinders.
The players traded serve twice but Da Col started choking as the match progressed.
The Italian threw away a 40-15 advantage in the tenth game to lose his serve and that was all what Zbynek needed. He pocketed the set and in the decider, lost just two points on serve to close out the match.
Arimoto was the one who started the second semi-final with an ace and went 40-15 up in the first game.
But that was all he would get in that game as he dropped serve. The Japanese was broken again in the seventh game ó as he committed two double faults ó to lose the set in 25 minutes.
Felder faced some resistance in the second set as Arimoto came up with some clever placements. He broke the Uruguayan in the sixth game and went on to clinch the set to make it 1-1.
Felder came back with a flurry of shots down both flanks in the decider.
So ruthless and precise was his attack that Arimoto could hold serve just once and Felder went on to win the set in 22 minutes to proceed to the final.