Ramanathan-Raja to play doubles semi-finals on Saturday; Goransson-Christopher march into doubles final
Pune, February 7: Czech star Jiri Vesely stormed into the single semi-finals at the third edition of Tata Open Maharashtra with a sensational three-set victory against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Friday.
India’s only hope for the title in the South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament, in-form pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja will face challenge from third seeded Jonathan Erich and Andrei Vasilevski in the second doubles semi-finals on Saturday. The duo entered last-4 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden on Thursday. Meanwhile, Andre Goransson and Christopher Rungkat overcame Romain Arneodo and Andre Begemann 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in the first doubles semi-finals on Friday.
The 26-year-old Vesely, despite losing the first set 6-2, made an unlikely comeback to win the second set 6-1. The third set saw both the players giving tough fight which went to the decider. However, the former World No. 35 Vesely, who upset World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo in 2016, managed to hold the edge over his opposition to complete come from behind 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (13-11). "It was a very close match. I think I was definitely lucky. I felt he deserved it more than I do at the end of the match. We both were very nervous," Vesely told media after the match.
In another hard-fought quarter-finals match in India's premier ATP 250 event which is organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with Government of Maharashtra, second-seed Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania recovered well after the first set setback to register 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory against Japan's Yuichi Sugita.
Italy's Roberto Marcora, who hadn't dropped a single set in TOM 2020 couldn't get past the challenge of Australia's James Duckworth as he lost in straight sets 3-6, 6-7 (4-7). In the final centre court encounter, 8th seeded Egor Gerasimov fought back from a set down to overpower South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon 4-6, 6-7 (1-7), 4-6.
The singles semi-finals will see Jiri Vesely face Ricardas Berankis and James Duckworth battling it out against Egor Gerasimov.
(Singles quarter-finals) Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Ilya Ivashka (BLR) 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (13-11); Ricardas Berankis (LTU) bt Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; James Duckworth (AUS) bt Roberto Marcora (ITA) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4); Egor Gerasimov (BLR) bt Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) 6-4, 6-7 (1-7), 6-4
(Doubles semi-finals) Andre Goransson and Christopher Rungkat bt Romain Arneodo and Andre Begemann 6-4, 7-6 (7-1).