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Vishnu stretched by qualifier Bendre

Top seed Vishnu Vardhan entered the men’s singles second round of the Rs 12-lakh prize money Omkar All India ranking tennis tournament after a hard-fought win over qualifier Anvit Bendre on Tuesady. The India number 4 who was a member of the Indian squad at the London Olympics was made to toil in his 6-4 7-6 (3) win by his unheralded rival before advancing.

Vardhan grabbed a decisive break in the ninth game to serve out the first set but Bendre did exceptionally well to keep pace with his opponent in the second that went into a tie-breaker at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana. However, the man who partnered Leander Paes at the London Games last year managed to elevate his game when it mattered as he raced away from 3-3 to 6-3 in the tie-breaker and sealed the affair on his first match point.

Vardhan will next face Mohit Mayur in what should be another tricky contest for the 25-year-old judging by Mayurs 6-0 6-1 demolition of Yuvraj Chaudhary. Seventh seed Shahbaaz Khan suffered an agonising blow when up by a set and a break against Bruhad Mankad, he was forced to retire from the match due to a knee-injury. Khan led 6-2 3-1 when he had to forfeit the match. Third seed Rohan Gide, playing with a brace on his right-hand to shield a wrist injury, had little trouble seeing off Siddhesh Khade as he marched on to the second round with a 6-1 6-4 win.

Wild card entrant Rakshay Thakkar also progressed after edging Abdullah Shaikh 7-5 7-6 (3) in an encounter which produced many long rallies.
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