Russia’s Alexander Igoshin and India’s N Vijay Sundar Prashanth won the men’s doubles championship of the Bahrain ITF World Tennis Tour 2019 at Bahrain Tennis Club (BTC) in Juffair.
The top seeds defeated Dutch pair Jesper De Jong and Sidane Pontjodikromo 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 10-8 in a super tie-break to claim their first title as a partnership.
They had teamed up twice in the past, but only now have taken home some silverware.
“For sure we know each other better now as this is our fifth match together, so that helped us,” 27-year-old Igoshin said.
Added 32-year-old Prashanth: “We are also friends off court, so that helps us click on court.”
The two finalists were presented their respective trophies in an awarding ceremony held after their final.
Handing over their awards were His Majesty the King’s Youth and Sports adviser Saleh Isa bin Hindi, Bahrain Tennis Federation (BTF) vice-president Shaikh Abdulaziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa and BTC president Khamis Al Muqla in the presence of other BTF, BTC and tournament officials.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Tim van Rijthoven of the Netherlands and Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic set up a mouth-watering men’s singles final, which will be played today at 5pm. All are welcome to attend.
Van Rijthoven defeated Vitaliy Sachko of Ukraine 6-2, 6-2 to advance to the title match while Machac ousted Dutchman Jesper De Jong 6-0, 6-4 to book his berth.
De Jong had a heartbreaking day. He entered yesterday’s action with a chance to finish the tournament with an impressive title double, but he is set to come away empty-handed.
In the men’s doubles final, De Jong and Pontjodikromo raced out to a 4-1 lead in the first set but Igoshin and Prashanth were able to fight back and force a tie-break, which the Dutch pair took 7-5. Igoshin and Prashanth had now found their groove but still needed to go the maximum to take the second set with a similar tie-break score. Neither pair were able to break their opponents the entire set.
Igoshin and Prashanth started the super tie-break well and there was no denying them in the end, closing out the contest with a strong finish.
In Van Rijthoven’s victory, the Dutch ace gave up the match’s very first game to his rival but then broke Sachko twice to help build a 5-1 advantage. He then closed out the set in the next two games.
The second set was almost similar to the first, with Van Rijthoven breaking his fellow 21-year-old twice en route to sealing the match.
In the other semi-final, it was a battle between two talented 18-year-olds. Machac broke De Jong in the very first game and rode his momentum to a clean sweep of the first set.
The second appeared to be headed the same direction with the Czech talent taking a commanding 3-0 lead, but De Jong fought back, breaking Machac in the fourth game. Both players then held serve the rest of the way, which was enough for Machac to triumph.