Monday, November 29, 1999

Fighting Rastogi goes down to De Voest in ITF final

News posted by

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) India's Karan Rastogi had to contend with the runners-up trophy for the second successive week though not before making top seed South African Rik De Voest sweat for his 7-5, 6-2 victory in the $15,000 men's International Tennis Federation (ITF) trophy here Saturday.Under a scorching sun, both players showed urgency in the first set before De Voest made the second an one-sided affair, eventually winning the match in nearly one and a half hours.The 23-year-old Rastogi, a finalist in last week's ITF tournament in Kolkata, showed the stomach for fight and matched De Voest stroke by stroke but ran out of steam in the second set.The former Indian Davis Cupper was not intimidated by De Voest's big game and kept up the pressure by moving to the nets besides playing solid from the baseline. He chased down every ball and came up with some stunning returns of serve to leave the South African stranded in disbelief.But De Voest, who was here to rack up the ATP point to make the cut for the Wimbledon qualifying rounds, showed he is a notch higher in class. The South African Davis Cupper, who was on his second trip to India, relied on his big serve, raining down 13 aces, and powerful forehand to wriggle out of tight spots. His passing shots from the baseline were stinging.Rastogi was broken in the very first game but the Indian fought back with purpose immediately. The second game, the longest of the match, went to seven deuces and De Voest had to stave off three break points before holding on.By then Rastogi gained confidence and identified the chink in South African's armour, his backhand, which he attacked frequently. The Indian broke back at 2-3 with a superb forehand pass and then held his serve without conceding a point.However, the reprieve was short lived and a few errors from the Indian in the 11th game cost him a break and De Voest soon served out the set.The pattern changed in the second set where De Voest dicated terms. Rastogi tried to snatch early initiative but by then the South African was firing thunderbolts and with breaks in the fifth and the seventh game, he sprinted to victory.Rastogi, who is returning to the circuit after two years due to a back injury, said he lost to a better player.'I made errors here and there and that proved costly. I had my chances and I needed to cash in on them. But I lost to a better player today and I have no regrets. He came with some great returns and passes. The last two weeks have been good for me and it should improve my rankings,' Rastogi said.'I have been playing four weeks on trot, so I will go home for a break and will reflect on my game. After some days of training, I will play in Indonesia.'De Voest, who had a near-flawless week, was happy that the match didn't go to the decider.'He (Rastogi) played really well. He didn't give me much chance. He pounced on anything short from me and kept the pressure. I served well today and I am glad the set didn't go to the decider as I was getting a little tired in the second set,' De Voest said.

News posted by

Click here to read more news from
Please follow our blogs



No comments:

Post a Comment