Vishnu Vardhan, Sriram Balaji claim Challenger title

By: PTI
Vishnu Vardhan (centre) and N Sriram Balaji pose after winning the Shenzhen Challenger (Image courtesy: Twitter)

New Delhi, November 5: Vishnu Vardhan and N Sriram Balaji won their third Challenger title of the 2017 season together when they downed Austin Krajicek and Jackson Withrow in the final of the Shenzhen event in China.

The giant-killing Indians upset the fourth seeded Americans 7-6 (3) 7-6 (3) in a tight summit clash of the $75,000 event. They earned 90 ranking points each and split $4,650 as prize money.

Before this event, Vishnu and Sriram had triumphed at Chengdu and Fergana as well. Vishnu had also won a title with Toshihide Matsui in Astana.

Vishnu, who is ranked 134 in doubles, is likely to achieve his career-best ranking when the new list will be issued on Monday (November 6). His previous career-best rank was 123, achieved in August this year.

A delighted Vishnu, speaking to Telangana Today after his win, said: "This year has been very good to me and I started with a ranking of 350 and now I'm at 117. It is a huge relief. This win is really special because we entered the tournament as unseeded pair. We had to beat the higher ranked players before winning the title. In the first round, we beat the second seeds and we also beat the third and fourth seeded pairs on the way to the title. This gave us belief that we can beat the higher ranked players."

Speaking about his partnership with Sriram, Vishnu added: "This year, we consciously decided to concentrate a little more on doubles. Usually, when we play in ITF tournaments we could not improve our rankings beyond 250. So, we thought if we get a chance in ATP Challengers, we should go ahead and play. This year we have already won three titles together and played in one final together. It has been good start for us. Our first title was in Uzbekistan and then three titles in China."

Story first published: Sunday, November 5, 2017, 16:29 [IST]
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