May 2, 2009 12:05:04 am
Short and stocky Weerapat Doakmaiklee may not possess the lithe looks of an athlete,but through this weeks tennis at the $15,000 ITF Futures tournament in New Delhi,the Thai has shown enough court craft and cunning to make his opponents wary of his challenge. He couldnt do much on Friday,though. As he waited for Yuki Bhambri to take his place on court for their semi-final,Doakmaiklee took the chance to listen to a few songs on his headphones,but he would face the actual music only when the Delhi player got set on his way to a 6-1 6-4 victory.
Though Yuki had a tough time holding his serve to open the match,he stated his intention soon after,breaking his opponent in his first service game. The Indian had to fend off a few break points as the set went on,which he did with perfect serves,but Doakmaiklee soon surrendered another break to give the set away after winning just one game.
The second set looked like going the same way,with the Thai player getting close to a break but not close enough,Yuki managing to escape every time he was faced with a tough situation. When the first break of the set came in the fifth game,though,it gave the advantage to Doakmaiklee,who consolidated his serve to make the score 4-2 in his favour,not the kind of scoreline his opponent would have been used to over the last two weeks. A remarkably angled forehand crosscourt on break point in the next game,however,set the match right back on serve.
There would be only one more break in the match,and according to the script,it went Yukis way in the ninth game. The depth of his groundstrokes rendered them difficult to return,and the 5-4 lead meant all he had to do was serve out the match for a place in his second consecutive mens circuit final.
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In Saturdays match,Yuki will play top seed Raven Klaasen,who appeared to have done a bit of homework between his last meeting with Vishnu Vardhan and todays semi-final. Last week,he gave away four match points as eventual runner-up Vardhan snatched the match away from him,but this Fridays display was much more collected.
Vardhan gave it his best shot,even saving two match points at the end,but that was about all he could do as the South African took his place in the final with a 6-3 6-4 victory.
Vardhan did pick up one title this week,though,as he and Divij Sharan defeated Tushar Liberhan and Vishal Punna 6-1 6-3 in the doubles final.
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