Ramkumar Ramanathan clinched the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger doubles title with parnter Vijay Sundar Prashanth on Saturday. This is Ramkumar’s first doubles title in the ATP Challenger circuit.
The Indian duo beat the third seeded Taipei pair of Tsung-Hua Yang and Cheng-Peng Hsieh 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 10-7 in a pulsating final.
Ramkumar, before Saturday, had three runner-up finishes on the Challenger circuit with different partners.
For Vijay, it is his second title, having won his first trophy with compatriot Saketh Myneni last year in October at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Ramkumar and Vijay had lost to the same Taipei pair in the opening round of the Kaohsiung Challenger in September.
It is the third time that an Indian pair has won the doubles title in five editions at the Pune Challenger.
Ramkumar, ranked 130 in the singles chart, hit powerful shots from the baseline while Vijay finished the points with volleys at the net.
After losing serve in the fifth game the Indians broke back immediately. There was no break of serve after that and the set was decided via tie-breaker.
The second set, too, went to a tie-breaker but this time, Yang and Hsieh clinched it to stretch the match to a Super Tie Breaker.
From 4-4, the Indians pulled away with three straight points. However, three consecutive errors from Vijay meant that it was level again at 7-7. From there on unforced errors from the Taipei boys and two superb services from Ramkumar sealed the match for the home players.