ITF Mysuru Open 2023 | Prajwal Dev upsets 4th seed Mukund Sasikumar to enter singles semifinals

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India’s S D Prajwal Dev showed immense tenacity in carving a 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) win over compatriot Mukund Sasikumar to waltz into the singles semifinals of the ITF Mysuru Open 2023 on Friday. Prajwal, a world No 1027, came as the underdog against fourth-seeded Mukund and posted a win.  

The USD 25,000 event is being hosted by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA). Cutting back to the match, once Mukund won the first set 6-1, a canter for him seemed the most possible outcome. But Prajwal showed massive dollops of fighting spirit despite being down by a break in the second set to win it 7-5 eventually.

Both the players battled neck to neck in the decider as it stretched to the tie-break. Prajwal played the crucial points a lot better in the tie-break to come out as the winner after a battle that lasted precisely 3 hours.

“It was a very close match. I was down a set and a break in the second set but I stayed tough and I wanted to stay as close as possible to him and take my chances. I am happy that I was able to do that in the second set. I was again down in the third set but I did well to get back to the match and I am happy to get over the line. In semis, I need to stay solid with my serve, and ground shots and take my chances and probably attack a little bit more. If I serve well, I can do other aspects of the game well,” said Prajwal after the match.

In the semis, Prajwal will face George Loffhagen. Earlier, unseeded Loffhagen of Britain continued his winning spree in the tournament, beating India’s Karan Singh 7-6 (4), 6-3. “It was a good match and I am happy about the way I served. He was a tough opponent, especially during the long rallies, so I am happy to get through the match,” said Loffhagen after the match.

In the doubles, top-seeded Indian pair of B Rithvik Choudary and Niki Poonacha strolled past fourth seeds and compatriots Parikshit Somani and Manish Sureshkumar 6-3, 6-3 to enter the final.

Later, Mukund Sasikumar made up for his defeat in singles when he along with Vishnu Vardhan reached the doubles semifinals, defeating Indian duo Faisal Qamar and Fardeen Qamar 7-6 (7), 3-6, 10-7. The match was carried over from Thursday.

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