Mumbai, Oct. 22 -- It started as just another qualifying match of an ITF Futures event: shunned onto a side-court and with no attention paid to the tennis etiquette. By the end of four hours, the two players from Chinese Taipei, sweating buckets and trying to block out the distractions, had attracted a handful of supporters: mostly fellow players and a few officials.
Jui-Chen Hung finally overcame Ting Yu Chuang 7-6(1), 5-7, 7-5 in four hours and five minutes to enter the tournament main draw at the CCI courts on Monday evening.
Not just rare in a qualifying event, it was a marathon match by any standards. To put things in perspective, the longest three-set match was in the semifinals of the London Olympics, when Roger Federer beat Juan Martin del Potro in four hours and 26 minutes.
"It was tough," said the 22-year-old Hung, who lived to tell the tale, though in broken English. "The weather was not good. There was too much noise: birds, machines."
Though it would be unrealistic to expect Grand Slam-esque silence during play at a Futures event, Hung and Chuang did seem at a particular disadvantage, as their court was right next to the makeshift players' cafeteria.
Meanwhile, national champion and sixth seed Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan defeated fellow Indian Vignesh Peranamallur 6-2, 6-3 to ease into the second round.
Singles 1st round: (WC)-Arjun Khade bt (WC)-Kunal Anand 6-3, 6-0; Nicolas Reissig (AUT) bt Ajai Selvaraj 6-3, 6-3; 6-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Vignesh Peranamallur 6-2, 6-3; 3-N. Sriram Balaji bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-5, 6-4.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.