MYSURU: George Loffhagen emerged the singles champion in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Mysuru Open 2023, outfighting Australia’s Ellis Blake 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) at the Mysore Tennis Club on Sunday.
As the scoreline suggested the match offered several twists and turns before the unseeded Briton prevailed over the eighth-seeded Aussie in 2 hours and 49 minutes, as per a press release from Mysuru Open.
“It was a really good tournament and I enjoyed playing here a lot. The final was a tough match and I was able to stay in the match after losing that first set. It has been a bit tiring but good to have been able to win the title,” said Loffhagen after the match.
The prize distribution was attended by Maheshwar Rao IAS, the Secretary of the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA), and Dr KV Rajendra, Mysuru Deputy Commissioner and also the organising committee chairman of the tournament, among others. Dr KV Rajendra handed over the cheque to the winner, while Rao presented the trophy.
“Congrats to the players for producing a wonderful match. A big thanks to the spectators also, because they lift the energy levels of the players and I also thank all the sponsors. We have already conducted an ATP tournament and a couple of other ITF tournaments in Bangalore and we are hoping to stage more events so that new talents come up from Karnataka,” said Maheshwara Rao.
“The exciting final was the epitome of the events that have been happening over the last week. I cannot thank KSLTA enough for giving us this opportunity to host this event and it was an honour for me to be part of this tournament. A big thanks to the spectators who turn up in big numbers. Hopefully, we will be able to host more tournaments in the future,” said Dr KV Rajendra.
Glancing back at the match, Blake started the proceedings in a clinical fashion bagging the first set 6-4. But Loffhagen struck back strongly in the second set and a double break of serve enabled the British player, a world No 702, to level at 1-set all.
Both Loffhagen and Blake went neck-to-neck in the decider before the latter affected a break in the 9th game to go 5-4 up. Blake stood within breathing space of wrapping the match up when he served for the match at 5-4 but Loffhagen showed his fighting spirit at this juncture to break back to make the scoreline 5-5.
The opportunity that slipped away seemed to have affected concentration of Blake as he could not focus on critical points in the tie-break. Loffhagen closed out the set and match with ease as he upped the level of his serves too.
Result (Singles, Final)
George Loffhagen (GBR) beat (8) Ellis Blake (AUS) 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4). (ANI)