Sixth seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan sailed into the finals of the CCI-ITF Futures tennis tournament after defeating wild card Purav Raja 6-3 6-4 at the CCI courts here on Friday.
Twenty four-year-old Nedunchez—hiyan, who has won three Futures tournaments in his first year in the ITF circuit, hardly broke any sweat as his strong forehand winners were too much for Raja to handle. The left-handed Nedunchezhiyan broke Raja in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead in the first set and maintained it to clinch the set 6-3.
The story was not any different in the second set as Nedunchezhiyan broke Raja early and took a 2-1 lead. Raja’s weak serve and simple volley misses at the net cost him dear even as Nedunchezhiyan continued his dominance to take the second set 6-4 and the match, which lasted an hour and 29 minutes.
The Chennai lad said the clash with Raja was more of a mental battle. “He (Raja) is one of the best doubles players in India and one of the smartest players in the tournament, so it was more of a mental battle with him,” Nedunchezhiyan said.
Nedunchezhiyan will meet Mate Pavic of Croatia for the title. Pavic recovered strongly from a set down to outdo fourth seed Liang-Chi Huang of Chinese Taipei 1-6 6-4 6-2 to enter his maiden Futures final. The 19-year-old Pavic, who won the 2011 Wimbledon boys doubles championship, though lost his cool in the second set and accused the chair umpire of cheating after a heated argument. He refused to continue the match, until the tournament supervisor intervened. Pavic was warned for “unsportsmanlike conduct” by the umpire.