By Akash Panther
It was a warm and quiet morning. The conditions seemed ideal for a good day of tennis. Saksham serves first but is facing the sun. He starts with a double fault. Definitely not the best way to begin a game. After that he serves a beauty down the T, an ace.
He comes back at his opponent again with a forehand winner down the line. But that was not enough to stop Dhruvin from securing the first game as he kept covering the court well and defending all of Saksham’s attempts to send another shot past him. Saksham immediately came back in the second game which witnessed another break of serve. 2 games and 2 breaks of service. Both players evenly poised. Saksham serves again and seems to have found his rhythm with a strong flat first serve and an accurate second serve. He holds his serve and goes up 2 – 1. Dhruvin is no less determined and plays some very good shots and even aces a second serve. But the big hitting vindy player got ahead by ripping some good RPM’s on the ball. Saksham breaks again and is leading 3 – 1. Saksham again has problems with his serve. Double fault and 2 return winners sends Dhruvin up 0 – 40 and is back in the game with a triple break. After one of the best rallies of the match in which both players pushed each other behind the base lines with their backhands Saksham drops the ball. Dhruvin reading it early goes to the net and manages to reach in time to return. A lob attempt by Saksham goes in vain as Dhruvin smashes it back breaks Saksham’s serve. Dhruvin begins with a strong serve and ace and goes up 30 – 0 in no time. Dhruvin suddenly lost momentum and gave the game to Saksham with a double fault and long backhand. Saksham has taken the lead again. Saksham has eyes on the set now and goes up 5 – 2 with a beautiful forehand down the line approaching the net, Dhruvin was nowhere near that ball. Dhruvin is now serving to stay in the set. The pressure is clearly on him as Saksham is looking to finish the set as quickly as possible. The following game consisted of the best rallies in the match. A beautiful backhand slice rally with the ball almost kissing the net each time it crossed it was a sight for sore eyes. Dhruvin wins that rally with a backhand winner. Saksham gets back with another strong backhand on the baseline and Dhruvin commits an unforced error. Saksham has set point. Dhruvin is clearly feeling the heat this is his last chance to stay in the set and he does with an excellent serve, getting him to deuce. Another backhand rally ensues and Dhruvin makes the mistake of hitting one onto Sakhsam’s forehand side, which he capitalizes and gets himself another set point. The saddest ending to this well played set of tennis is the fact that Dhruvin serves a double fault when he needed his serve the most. Saksham is one up in the match and is evidently the stronger contender.
Dhruvin begins the second set and plays a beautiful point by dropping the ball and making saksham get to the net and then executes a perfect backhand lob right over Saksham’s head. All Saksham could do was see as the ball landed well inside. Saksham in return punishes Dhruvin by making him run all over the court with well-placed shots. Dhruvin replies with a delightful backhand winner but that is not enough as other unforced errors allow Saksham to break again and go up 1 – 0. Saksham holds service with a beautiful backhand slice winner and is up 2 – 0. 3 – 0. 4 – 0. The shots have now become slower and the players are visibly tired. It was pleasant winter day for the on lookers but welcome sun was punishing for the players. Dhruvin goes up 4 – 1 after a well fought game but the ending of the match had just begun. Gathering all his energy Saksham hits some strong ground strokes to go up 5 – 1 and Saksham is now serving for the match. 40 – 0. 3 match points but saksham needed only one. Game. Set and Match to saksham. A hard loss for dhruvin but his inability to convert the points into games and further into sets let him down.