Saketh Myneni demolished the challenge of second seed Kimmer Coppejans with remarkable ease to move to the Delhi Open singles final, here today.
Serving better and better as the match progressed, 166th ranked Myneni made short work of his Belgian opponent 6-3 6-2 in the semifinals of the USD 50,000 ATP Challenger event at the DLTA complex.
With his dominating performance, Myneni has earned himself an opportunity to win his second Challenger level singles title. His first title came in October 2014 in Indore.
Not only singles, Myneni also has a chance to win his fourth doubles Challenger title in the evening when he and Sanam Singh take on Mahesh Bhupathi and Yuki Bhambri in the final.
Coppejans put up some resistance initially but once Myneni raised the level of his game, the Belgian just fizzled, looking helpless and at mercy of the Indian. Coppejans often made eye contact with his lone supporter in the stands, perhaps his compatriot, as if asking what to do to counter Myneni.
Myneni hardly put a foot wrong. He served big, stroked with authority and was fluent in his stroke-making. He gave himself enough time to choose the shot he wanted to play and the placement.
Facing three breakpoints in the third game was the only blot in his performance today. He saved all those chances with superb service. Coppejans, ranked 125th, was rewarded for returning the powerful serves but he could not cope when Myneni accelerated.
Myneni just flew after breaking his rival in the fourth game. Such was the quality of his service that he played seven service games after that and lost only four points in those games.
“I began well and when I upped the pace, he was rattled. Most of the Europeans play from behind the baseline and that’s why I also used a few drop shots. I needed to draw him forward. It’s just variation in the game and not something which I practice a lot,” Myneni said.
Asked about the financial assistance that government has sanctioned for him, Myneni said, “that’s awesome”.
“I am looking forward to doing well, move my ranking up and play some big tournaments,” he said.
He next faces third seed Frenchman Stephane Robert, who outplayed Flavio Cipolla 6-3 6-2 in the other semifinal. PTI