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Vishnu in Round II

Calcutta: Vishnu Vardhan had a bit of a tough time, but he eventually overcame Tamil Nadu’s Mohammed Fariz 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the first round of the National Grass Court Tennis Championships, here, at the South Club, on Monday.

It was Vishnu’s big serve that helped him prevail, as Fariz came up with winners and precise shots to keep the third seed under pressure. The second set, though, was a lot easier for Vishnu as he broke his opponent’s serve when it mattered before wrapping up the match.

“The surface here has true bounce and the soil is also hard. So, I had to serve big. Moreover, I knew that big serves would deter my opponent from coming up with returns.

“I’m playing on grass after a long time. I’m happy I made use of all the chances,” Vishnu said after the match.

In another match, wild-card entrant Ashwin Vijayragavan upset eighth seed Lakshit Sood 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a match lasting in excess of three hours.

In the women’s section, fourth seed Sharmada Balu whipped Sonal Phadke 6-2, 6-1, while Renu Sharma beat Arushi Bhasin 6-1, 6-3. Namita Bal had a lucky escape as she got a walkover from Varunya Chandrasekhar, who twisted her knee, leading 4-1 in the first set.

“The bounce here is pretty unpredictable. So, I just focused on hitting the ball as hard as I could. The plan worked for me,” said Sharmada.