Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy wins Lucknow ITF for an Indian double | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy wins Lucknow ITF for an Indian double

By, Lucknow
Mar 26, 2023 06:31 PM IST

The 33-year-old beat young Ukrainian Eric Vanshelboim of Ukraine in the final for back-to-back victories, after winning in the Delhi leg last week

Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy won his second title in successive weeks after beating Ukraine’s Eric Vanshelboim 6-2 7-6 in the final of the ITF $25,000 Men’s Open here on Sunday. The 33-year-old won the Delhi leg last week by beating Japan’s Yusuke Takahashi in the final.

Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) defeats Eric Vanshelboim (UKR) in the ITF World Tennis Tour Tournament final at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh India on Sunday, March 26, 2023.(Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times))
Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) defeats Eric Vanshelboim (UKR) in the ITF World Tennis Tour Tournament final at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh India on Sunday, March 26, 2023.(Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times))

Once ranked as high as 65 in the world but now languishing around 300 in the ATP list, Donskoy collected 25 ATP points after the straight sets win at Lucknow’s Ekana Sportz City tennis facility. Barring the first round against India’s Digvijay Pratap Singh, he did not drop a set.

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Tennis matches between players of the two countries have been tense affairs because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the players shook hands, had a brief chat and hugged at the end of the match that lasted 100 minutes.

Both looked to play aggressively. Donskoy, the third seed, broke Vanshelboim in the first and third games to go 4-0 up. Though seventh seed Vanshelboim halted the slide to hold his two service games, Donskoy was steady and wrapped up the set in 42 minutes.

In the second set, Donskoy’s excellent court coverage and pace of play kept pushing the 21-year-old Vanshelboim. The Ukrainian though kept up the fight. His serve was broken in the seventh game, but he broke back in the next game. It was 5-all, but a dominant Donskoy broke Vanshelboim for the one last time before wrapping up the set 7-5 for the match. Vanshelboim collected 16 ATP points.

“I knew that Eric has his style of creating a web around the rivals, but I chose to attack from the start and kept hitting the ball hard till the end,” said Donskoy. “Had I not attacked, I would have fallen into his trap as Vanshelboim slows down the pace and then turns it in his favour smartly.”

Donskoy, who won’t play in the Mysuru and Chennai legs, was happy to win back-to-back events in India. “It’s exciting as this has happened for the first time in my life,” he said. “I still feel fit and fine and want to break into the top 100 once again.”

RESULT

Singles (final): Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) bt Eric Vanshelboim (Ukr) 6-2, 7-5.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Sharad Deep is a versatile sports journalist, who loves writing on cricket and Olympic sport. He has played cricket at the university level and has been writing for Hindustan Times since 1997.

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