Amritraj loses Hall of Fame title to Santaro

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Newport, Rhode Island, Jul 14 (UNI) Prakash Amritraj's dream run, finally, came to an end as the second seed Fabrice Santoro of France thwarted the Indian's challenge to successfully defend his Hall of Fame Championships title here.

Prakash, on his way to the final made some huge upsets in the tournament, but the 35-year-old Santaro made sure that everything goes according to his plan as he beat the Indian 6-3, 7-5.

The Indian Davis Cupper started his final clash on a bright note as he broke Santaro in the very first game of the match.

But the Frenchman came back hard and broke right back en route to winning four straight games.

Amritraj's consecutive unforced errors closed out the second game.

In the final game of the opening set, Amritraj made three unforced errors before a strong forehand winner off a net cord went saw Santaro win the set.

Santoro had the only break in the second set, taking a 6-5 lead, before hitting a backhand passing shot at 40-0 to win the match and title.

Amritraj, the son of three-time Newport winner Vijay Amritraj and a wild-card entry, was the lowest ranked player to reach a Newport final. He entered the week at 305th in the world, and he became the first Indian to play in an ATP final since Leander Paes won Newport 10 years ago.

Vijay Amritraj, who won 13 titles in 26 career finals, watched his son from behind one of the baselines.

''We talked after the match. He told me my strategy was right, but I just needed to be a little more aggressive,'' Prakash said.

While Amritraj earned 32,000 dollars, Santoro collected 64,000 dollars for his title win.

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