The Match Summary
It was super exciting match as predicted by all of us which pitted best friends, hitting partners, academy mates and India no. 8 & 9 against each other.. The match opened with not much of fan fare before Sandesh was staring at a set point at 5-2.. Arjun who was docile uptil then started getting his groove back which saw him win that game and the next in which Sandesh had 2 more set points. The score at 5-4 saw Arjun come up with some awesome hitting with which he levelled the set. Sandesh came up with some brilliant groundstrokes to claim the game but Arjun conquered the next which forced them into a tie break. Arjun raced to a quick 4-2 lead in the tie break, Sandesh caught up with him but Arjun was too good to win the next 3 points on the trot to capture the tiebreaker and first set 7-6.
The second set was one sided with Arjun weilding his racket which saw one winner after the other to take him to a 4-1 lead. Sandesh had his back on the wall and he was left with the only option he calls his strength.. His ability to fight back from a bleak situation which earned him his nick name”The master of Comebacks” which he put it to test again and boy it did pay. He leveled the set at 4-4 but Arjuns awesome 3 return winners in the ninth game saw him go to a 5-4 lead. Sandesh was quick to step in and capture the next 3 games in a row to snatch the set and level the match to a one set all
The third set opened with both the players slightly exhausted coz the match was already past the 2 1/2 hour mark. The match was evenly poised so did the score at 4-4.. Arjun got the next game to lead 5-4 but Sandesh’s big hitting came to his rescue to level it again at 5 all. The match was going down to the wire with no clear favourite at that point. Sandesh’s unrelenting groundstrokes and string of winners saw him beat his best friend in a 3 hour 40 min battle where the scoreboard finally read 6-7,7-5,7-5
The match was Pro class coz 6 out 8 points they played ended in a winner. They ran corner to corner for each rally before one dealt a mind boggling winner. Two guys who moved from qualifying and playing only their second ATF got the entire Crowd cheering for them. Overall a great battle but sadly only one came out as a Victor and the day belonged to Sandesh Kantimahanti…