Ramanathan-Raja into last-4, Paes-Ebden exit, Arneodo-Begemann upsets top-seed Haase-Lindstedt to enter doubles semi-finals
Pune, February 6: Fourth-seeded Kwan Soon-woo stormed into the singles quarter-finals at the third of Tata Open Maharashtra with a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) win against India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium here on Thursday. Later in the other round-of-16 singles match, Italy’s Roberto Marcora stunned top-seeded and World No. 19 Benoit Paire with a dominating 6-4, 6-4 win.
Despite losing the first set, the India No. 1 put a brilliant show in attempt to comeback which saw the second set going into decider. However, World No. 88 Soon-woo held his nerves in the tie-breaker to score crucial points and wrapped up the match. Prajnesh, who entered the South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament, which is organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with Government of Maharashtra, with a direct entry in the main draw, denied his opponent match points on a couple of occasions. With Prajnesh’s loss in the round of 16, India’s challenge came to an end in the singles. Earlier Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sasikumar Mukund and Arjun Kadhe lost their respective matches in the opening round.
Australia’s James Duckworth held his nerves during thrilling three-set 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 over Taro Daniel. Despite losing the first set, the sixth seeded Duckworth made timely comeback to win the hard-fought second set. However, the Australian had continued the momentum to win the decider easily to complete victory. Duckworth will face Marcora in the semi-finals.
In doubles category, Indian pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja entered semi-finals as the tennis great Leander paes made exit alongside partner Matthew Ebden. Ramanathan-Raja beat Paes-Ebden 6-2, 6-1 in the straight sets.
pair of Romain Arneodo and Andre Begemann caused a major upset in the tournament as they knocked out top-seed pair of Robin Haase and Robert Lindstedt with a thrashing 6-3, 6-3 win to enter the semi-finals.
However, third seeded Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski also made their way into the last four. Erlich-Vasilevski had fought hard before registering 5-7, 6-1, 10-8 win against Italian pair of Stefano Travaglia and Paolo Lorenzi.