Indian tennis player Vishnu Vardhan on Monday said he had played best tennis ever while partnering Leander Paes at the London Olympics earlier this year, and that the experience helped him in his Davis Cup wins against New Zealand later.
Vardhan, who is the top seeded player at the CCI-ITF Futures tennis tournament being held at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), said he was lucky to be a part of the Olympics on the basis of Paes’ rankings. “It has been a great year for me. The exposure of playing against the top players in the Olympics, and with Paes, has helped me a lot and has contributed to my Davis Cup wins,” said the 25-year-old from Secunderabad.
Paes hailed Vardhan’s performance at the Olympics, calling him a “phenomenal competitor” after their valiant show in London. Asked whether this put any pressure on him to perform better now, Vardhan said: “Not at all. In fact, to hear such praises from a legend like Paes has motivated me even more to improve my rankings.”
The six-footer, who is currently ranked 267 in the world in singles, said he was looking to end the year around the 240 mark, with an aim to play in the Australian Open qualifiers in 2013. He will open his campaign at the CCI against Ashwin Vijayragavan on Tuesday.
Balaji wins opener
Third seed N Sriram Balaji overcame some early jitters to tame a spirited challenge from compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan in his opening round singles match of the ITF Men’s US$ 15,000 Tennis Tournament at CCI on Monday. The Chennai-based Balaji pulled through at 7-5 6-4 in an hour and 50 minutes. In the longest match of the day, fought between Chinese Taipei players, Jui-Chen Hung overcame Ting Yu Chuang 7-6(1) 5-7 7-5 in four hours and five minutes in the final singles qualifying round.