#1 ville lost the game to rival Kentucky and it remains to b von mary123 29.08.2019 10:24

Stiff with spasms, Saketh Myneni hobbled around the court on a brutal July afternoon. His opponent on the other side of the net, South Koreas Yong-Kyu Lim looked spent too. India was 1-0 up after the first singles rubber and the onus was on the gangly 28-year-old from Vizag to hang in and extend the lead going into day twos play of the Davis Cup tie. Hang in he did.A little more than a month since, Saketh has entered the singles main draw of the US Open. This will be his first-ever Grand Slam appearance - one that he managed to make his way through to without dropping a set in the three rounds of the qualifying event. A tricky first round against Czech Republics Jiri Vesely awaits, followed by a possible second-round encounter against world No 1 Novak Djokovic.Im glad to have made it so far. Ive been working on my game and fitness. But its not something that can be improved upon in a day or a week or a month. Particularly, for someone like me whos not had a solid foundation in the early years its twice as much harder, says Saketh.The closest he came to a spot in the main draw was at the Australian Open earlier this year, before losing in the third round of qualifying. The last Indian singles player to qualify for a Grand Slam main draw was Yuki Bhambri at the Australian Open last year. Courtesy his top 100 ranking, Yuki gained a direct entry into the years first major in 2016.Saketh or Saki, as hes fondly referred to on the tour, hasnt been one of the most consistent players around. Nor one of the fittest. Having begun swinging a tennis racquet when he was 11, Saketh moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on a tennis scholarship to pursue an unsuspecting double major in finance and economics, apart from of course joining the American college tennis circuit. Armed with a booming serve and a big forehand, the 64 Agassi fan knows that much like his idol, his body is his biggest foe.His fight with fitness has been a protracted one. At the fag end of April this year, a sore shoulder had him pulling out of a Challenger event in Anning, China forcing him to take time off for shoulder rehab and strengthening programme.Tennis these days is all about having a big game, says former national champion Gaurav Natekar, Saketh has the game. But hes inconsistent and his fitness is not up to the mark. This is definitely a step in the right direction. If hes a bit lucky, stays injury-free and focused then I dont see why he cant get closer to the top 100.Currently ranked 143 in the world, Saketh needs to beef up his back-court game for starters if he wishes to expedite his progress and sustain it. Though equipped with a big serve, to serve and volley through the length of the match, especially on the second serve against players ranked inside the top 100 would be bordering on the foolhardy. If you have to break your opponents serve, you need to keep 7-10 balls in play from the back and maintain pressure. Thats something Saketh really needs to work on, adds Natekar.The Davis Cup tie was a learning experience for me, says Saketh, Knowing what it takes to play a five-set match and also realising how much I can push my body.Former Davis Cup coach Enrico Piperno feels Saketh has come a long way and can only get better from here, given he plugs the gaps in his game. Improvement often happens in spurts. As you play more, make more main draws, you gain self-confidence and experience of playing at that level week in and week out, Piperno says, Saketh volleys outstandingly well. Thats the reason why Rohan wanted to play with him at the Olympics. He has the game and the physical attributes for a top 100 spot but needs to get fitter and a little more solid at the back of the court.Back to the Indias Davis Cup tie last month. Up 3-0 at the end of second days play against South Korea, there was a mild surprise in store. The first reverse singles rubber had Rohan Bopanna taking court, instead of Saketh. The doubles senior pro obviously wasnt too amused. Till this is morning I did not know that I was supposed to play, Bopanna said, Saketh came in and said he couldnt walk. Youngsters have to be fitter to play five setters if required. They have to be completely ready. Saketh was in attendance at the media interaction, hands folded across his chest, wearing a knowing, apologetic smile. 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STARS-Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi, ran for career-high 258 yards and accounted for five TDs to lead the Bulldogs over Mississippi 55-20 in the Egg Bowl-Brad Kaaya, Miami, became the schools all-time career passing leader , throwing for 396 yards and a career-high-tying four TDs as the Hurricanes beat Duke 40-21.-Nate Peterman, Pittsburgh, threw for 251 yards and four TDs and ran for another score to lead the Panthers to a wild 76-61 victory over Syracuse that had the highest combined points for a regulation game in FBS history.-Ray Lawry, Old Dominion, rushed for 194 yards and three TDs in a 42-28 win over Florida International.-Justin Jackson, Northwestern, rushed for 173 yards and three TDs to help the Wildcats become bowl eligible with a 42-21 victory over Illinois.-Will Worth, Navy, accounted for four TDs while becoming the schools first quarterback with more than 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing in three consecutive games as the Midshipmen beat SMU 75-31.---HORSESHOE CELEBRATIONThe play was 29 Lead, and it will go down in history as how Ohio State beat Michigan in one of the greatest games ever played by the Big Tens most storied rivals.Thats pretty much all Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer wanted to talk about. 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