Laskhit Sood beats Paras Dahiya for title in Asian tennis
t was the court craft of Lakshit Sood that prevailed against the power-play of Paras Dahiya, as the fifth seed tamed the third seed 7-5, 6-2 in the final of the Col. KK Uppal memorial $3,000 Asian men’s tennis tournament at the VAN Sports Club in Baliawas on Sunday.
It was a long-drawn encounter as persistent rain forced repeated interruption to the final, which started at 8.30 a.m., and was watched by a good gathering.
The first set did hold the key, as the players tended to miss many chances, as the rain drove them off the court repeatedly. What stood out was Lakshit’s ability to stay focused and play the ball with purpose, testing his opponent, by driving into the corners. He also had an all-round game to lend variety to the attack.
Thus, it was no surprise that Lakshit was able to break serve decisively in the 12th game to pocket the first set.
Paras did have his coach Pawan Patel on hand to guide him though the tournament, but Lakshit had the experience and the game to pull through, without much fuss.
Once he got a grip over the proceedings by holding serve early in the second set, Lakshit was able to drive into the next gear, in an entertaining contest in which the two players brought off some lively rallies much to the delight of the enthusiasts.
As the match continued in blazing sun in the afternoon, Paras lost belief in his game and stumbled to an early exit in the second set, which was so much in contrast to the first.
Yet, full marks to Lakshit for playing his best in a tournament in which his twin brother, Chandril was the top seed but had lost in the first round owing to a knee injury.
There were some line calls by chair umpire Ravneet Singh that Paras tended to dispute but there was no questioning the faith of the two players in each other. In fact, Lakshit had picked up Paras in his car while driving to the venue earlier in the day.
Lakshit was relaxed and thus was able to see the ball better and the lines, while Paras was a little confused and lacked the clarity.
Davis Cupper Vishaal Uppal recalled the splendid role that his grandfather Col. KK Uppal had played in his tennis career, and promised to do a better event next year. The entire family of Col. KK Uppal assembled at the venue and presented the trophies.
(Courtesy: The Hindu)