CHENNAI: Purely in terms of height, any clash between Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh — doubles partners on the court and friends off it — is bound to invoke a few David-meets-Goliath references. Meet they did on Monday in the Chennai Open qualifiers here. But, those insistent on using the biblical tale as a sporting analogy for the fixture were disappointed with the end result.
This time, it was Goliath — the six-foot-four-inch Myneni — who conquered the relatively-diminutive Sanam’s David with a 6-2, 6-4 victory. “The past year has been pleasing. I’m glad to have gotten off to a good start in the new one, even though it was against my good friend,” remarked Myneni. “It’s a process for me. It was a good day.”
Myneni’s repertoire of big serves and surface-singeing returns tilted the clash in his favour. His serves, in particular, were Scud-like — erratic on occasion but capable of inflicting heavy damage; a by-product of the India No 2’s extra gym time. “It’s not just about the serve. It’s more about the physicality. I have been training hard, with extra focus on my lower body. Apart from serving, it also provides more fluidity in on-the-court movement.”
Results (Qualifying Rd 1): A Pavic (CRO) bt E Ymer (SWE) 7-5, 6-2; J Ward (GBR) bt J Nedunchezhiyan 6-4, 6-3; T Fabbiano (ITA) bt M Elgin (RUS) 6-4, 3-1 retd; A Kudryavtsev (RUS) bt F Nielsen (DEN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0; S Myneni bt S Singh 6-2, 6-4; S Devvarman bt NVS Prashanth 6-2, 6-3; NS Balaji bt H Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) 6-2, 6-4; J Kovalik (SVK) bt P Gunneswaran 6-3, 6-0.