In a repeat final of the previous leg of ITF Open held in Bhopal last week, India’s Arjun Kadhe and Sidharth Rawat will battle it out for honours in the US $ 15000 SKME ITF Open. In the semifinal bouts played at the KSLTA Stadium here on Saturday, Kadhe, seeded fifth overcame 18-year-old Maks Kasnikowski 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 while Rawat was a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Manish Sureshkumar.
Kadhe is now in line for a double crown as later in the day, the 25-year-old joined hands with Julian Cash of Great Britain to win the doubles title, a second title in as many months at the KSLTA courts. In the title clash of the doubles event, the top seeded duo defeated the second seeded pair of Sasikumar Mukund and Vishnu Vardhan 7-6 (5), 3-6, 10-7.
Meanwhile in the first singles semifinals, Kadhe and Maks began on the right note holding their respective serves until the 5th game where Kadhe led 3-2. However, the Polish player upped his game and moved faster on the court and caught his opponent on the wrong foot most of the time and won four games in a row to take the opening set. Kadhe’s game changed with a change of his shirt as he took a decisive 4-2 lead in the second set, courtesy a break in the fifth game and took the match into the decider where he took complete command. All Maks could do was to hold his serve in the first and seventh game as Kadhe, who sent down 11 aces during the match, signed off with a 6-2 win in the final set.
In the other semifinal, Rawat showed a sense of urgency and controlled for most part of the match. After an early break in the second game, he raced to a 3-0 lead before achieving one more break in the sixth game to lead 5-1. The 22-year-old Sureshkumar broke Rawat’s serve in the seventh game but his chances of a comeback were snuffed out with Rawat breaking his serve to win the set.
In the second set, Sureshkumar played some brilliant shots and engaged in long rallies. The strategy did work as he built a 4-2 lead and looked in a good stead to win the set. Hiwever, Rawat had other plans in mind as he won three games on the trot to go ahead 5-4 and broke his opponent’s serve in the 12th game to win the set and the match.
5-Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt Maks Kasnikowski (POL) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; 2-Sidharth Rawat (IND) bt 4-Manish Sureshkumar (IND) 6-2, 7-5.
1-Julian Cash (GBR)/Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt 2-Sasikumar Mukund (IND)/Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 7-6 (5), 3-6, 10-7