Vijayant to face giant-killer Lewis in final

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Chandigarh, Jan 11 (UNI) Fourth seed and 208th ranked Vijayant Malik of Chandigarh will lock horns with giant-killer and ninth seed Lewis Barnes of Britain in the boys singles final of the India ITF Junior (Grade 3) Tennis Tournament at the CLTA Tennis Stadium here tomorrow.

Local DAV College student Vijayant Malik upset second seeded Joachim Sternbach (France ) 6-2, 6-4 at the Centre Court in the semi-final today.

At the court number 3, Lewis Barnes oust James Richardson, both of Great Britain (GBR), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the second semi-final.

Earlier, Lewis Barnes pulled of the biggest upset by stunning top seed Vikram Reddy of India 7-5, 6-2 in quarter-final contest.

Strong winds were causing a lot of bother to Vijayant Malik and Joachim Sternbach to adjust their strokes. Malik and 180th ranked Joachim were seen engaged in long rallies and were keeping the ball in and waiting for their opponents to commit unforced errors.

In the first set, Vijayant Malik broke his rival in the fourth (3-1) and 8th games (6-2). Playing before the home supporters, Malik maintained pressure and reeled off three successive games to take a commanding 3-0 lead before Joachim won his serve game in the fourth game and broke Vijayant Malik in the fifth game to make it 2-3.

Malik broke back immediately in the next game and held his serve in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead.

Serving at 4-5, Joachim Sternbach was broken in the 10th game as Malik raced to a 6-4 win in the second set.

In a clash between two Britons, Lewis Barnes lost the first set to James Richardson at 4-6 after exchanging breaks in the fourth and fifth games. Lewis was again broken in the seventh game.

In the second set, Richardson raced to a 3-0 lead before Lewis bounced back into the game. Tied at four-all, Lewis broke his rival in the 10th game to win at 6-4 and level the score one-all.

This set was marked by five breaks.

Lewis was at his best in the third and deciding set. Executing this strokes with power and precision, Lewis raced to a 4-0 lead and went on to win the set at 6-1 and the match.

Meanwhile, the Indian challenge ended in the girls singles, the girls final will be between top seed and 152nd ranked Nicha Lertpiraksinc of Thailand and second seeded and 171th ranked Anna Rapoport of Russia.

The Indian challenge was snuffed out in the semi-finals. Nicha Lertpiraksinc proved too good for 10th seed Rishika Sunkara (India) 6-1, 6-1 and Anna Rapoport defeated fifth seed Indian Tanvi Shah 6-2, 6-4.

UNI XC PS TB KN2047

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