Poonacha returns to winner’s circle as he caps off the ITF World Tennis Tour’s Indian swing with a home win
New Delhi: India Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha cheered Indian tennis fans with a convincing 6-3, 7-6 victory over US fourth seed Oliver Crawford in the ITF Men’s $ 15,000 New Delhi Final at RK Khanna Tennis Stadium today.
With the victory, the Indian swing of the ITF World Tennis Tour which started in early March 2021 comes to an end with Poonacha taking India to its first home victory in singles.
Yesterday, doubles seeded Arjun Kadhe and Saketh Myneni won the doubles championship trophies.
Poonacha, on his way to victory today, also ended his title drought on the ITF Men’s Tour since his first victory in Indonesia in 2018 and was happy he didn’t give up and was fighting hard. to win.
“He feels good. Thanks again to all the support staff, everyone played an important role in improving my game. It’s a very happy moment, too nervous. It’s a good feeling. The only one one thing that kept me going was that I worked so hard and didn’t want to give up so easily, so I kept fighting, ”said Poonacha, after the victory.
A 25-year-old Anantpur resident, Poonacha pulled off the first set comfortably and took the lead.
However, winner of the men’s $ 15,000 Pune event last week, Crawford did his best to come back in the second set to get the game into the deciding set.
After the loss Crawford, 21, said: “Obviously I didn’t do the job today. I would have liked to be a little better today, but he played better than me and he deserved to win.
Crawford led 5-3 in the second set but failed to convert three break points, which ultimately cost him dearly. Poonacha managed to maintain his serve and tied the score at 5-5 in the second set. Poonacha then finished the tiebreaker to take the trophy home.
“I didn’t play really well in the home stretch. I played some good points on his serve. It was kind of him playing well and I wasn’t playing my best in the crucial moments and when that happens it’s hard to do it, Crawford said.
“It’s been a good two weeks here in India. Super happy with the way I played, ”concluded Crawford of his Indian tour this month.
Singles (main draw, final): Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) bt Oliver crawford  (UNITED STATES) 6-3, 7-6