Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by Dinesh »

Niki (w/ Adam Taylor) started with a win this week at the Tunis challenger. They beat a local wildcard pair 6-3 6-2.

Up next, they play the Japanese pair Mochizuki/Noguchi in the QF, who had beaten the top seeds of the draw in R1.
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by sameerph »

Niki with Adam Taylor beat the Japanese pair who had upset top seeds in first round to go thru to SF.

At Tunis Challenger 75, Tunisia (Clay)

[QF] Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) / Adam Taylor (AUS) d. Shintaro Mochizuki (JPN) / Rio Noguchi (JPN) 75 46 10-4

Next,

[SF] Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) / Adam Taylor (AUS) vs. (WC) James McCabe (AUS) / Aziz Ouakaa (TUN)
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by sameerph »

They lost a close on in SF.

At Tunis Challenger 75, Tunisia (Clay)

[SF] Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) / Adam Taylor (AUS) l. (WC) James McCabe (AUS) / Aziz Ouakaa (TUN) 67(4) 64 6-10

Niki will move up inside top 250 at #244 now in ATP doubles rankings. Rithwik Choudary Bollopalli is at #260. I still wonder why they are not playing together, should get into many challenger draws now.
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by jayakris »

At the M15 in Rancho Santa Fe, California, USA (Hard),

[R1] (7) Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND,670) l. Cash Hanzlik (USA,962) 61 57 16

That was a tough loss from a winning position. Hope he is not injured or anything :(
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by Dinesh »

Not every loss involving an Indian has to do with injury, so no this was not an injury-related loss. I watched the match and Niki was simply outplayed by the once second-ranked player (when he was 16yo) in the USA, Hanzlik.

https://www.statepress.com/article/202 ... lete-2023
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by jayakris »

^^^ Thanks Dinesh. It looked weird how the match got turned around from late in the second set. I guess the other guy is simply a better player and probably played badly enough at first to give Niki even a chance. Good to know that he is not injured. (Actually it was not because he lost that I suspected if there was an injury; just that he fell apart like that in the third set after dominating the first set. A straight 46 16 loss would not have surprised me, I mean :) ).
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by Dinesh »

Niki is a doubles specialist, so I’m actually surprised that he’s playing this tougher US M15 ITF series despite having the ranking to enter CH doubles draws. He also skipped the doubles event this week. :-~
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by jayakris »

^^^ No, I don't think Niki considers himself a doubles specialist just yet - unless he told you otherwise! He has not shown a lack of focus in singles, and has been playing it dead seriously all along. Like in those recent matches against Digvijay and all, you could always see the fight in him (I have been a big fan of Niki for a while for this reason). But he may be very close to shutting it down soon, I would guess...
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by Dinesh »

^^^ Correct. He did not tell me that he’s a doubles specialist. It’s my own assessment based on his game, playing activity, age, and aspirations which can be deduced from observing certain factors. Someone who’s 28yo and has never reached the top-500 in the singles chart, and doesn’t travel week in, week out to improve their (singles) ranking is not going to make it as a regular professional in the singles part of this sport.
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by jayakris »

^^^ Actually he knows that he is a bit of a late bloomer. He had a serious abdominal injury (if I remember correctly) that took him out of tennis for like 4 years or something (ages 19 to 23 or something like that?). I believe he even thought he was done with tennis once, before he started doing well. He was playing pretty regularly after that, within the resources he could find to travel and all, I guess. Played national championships multiple times and won to prove to himself and others than he could play at a pretty high level. And then Covid came in the way too. One thing is for sure; he was always playing singles with some determination. I remember him winning 6 or 7 matches on the trot in one week to take a title, which is something only very few Indians manage (Somdev and Sumit are the other two in the last couple of decades or whatever).

So, Niki is a bit of a special case of a 28 year old. I agree with you that it is probably late for him now in singles. Just that I don't feel he thinks that just yet, because he has only played fewer years than other 28 year olds would have.
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by Dinesh »

Niki and Rithvik are in the entry list for the Palmas Del Mar Challenger next week in Peurto Rico. I assume Arjun will also be there since he is in the US.
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by sameerph »

This week at M15 in San Diego, Niki lost to 1034th ranked 19 year old American Jack Anthrop 62 67(4) 57. Anthrop had a career high junior rank of 17, so that much of a surprise this loss.
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by jayakris »

Once again he lost after winning the first set... :(
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by jayakris »

At the M15 in San Diego, California, USA (Hard):

[R1] (4) Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND,662) d. (Q) Andrew Rogers (USA,1023), 76(5) 63
so
[R2] (4) Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND,662) vs (Q) Warren Wood (USA,1136)
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Re: Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha thread

Post by Dinesh »

Niki and the 2nd seed of the tournament are the only seeds left in this draw. I wish I could go cheer for Niki today but I have a work meeting that I can’t miss. Hope he wins today, so I can attend his QF match tomorrow. :goodluck:
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