Ramanathan stumbles but Bhambri/Sharan shine as big guns advance to the QFs

Day 3 of the Tata Open Maharashtra promised great matches and the players ensured they entertain the crowd who had come to support them. Here’s what happened in today’s 10 thrilling matches:

Yuki Bhambri vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Day 3 started off at the Centre Court with India’s Yuki Bhambri taking on France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Bhambri, who was fresh from his win over Arjun Kadhe, played exquisitely well from the start to stamp his authority on the first set. He went on to win it 6-4, putting pressure on Herbert. But the eighth seeded Frenchman replied in great fashion. He was much more aggressive and showed more intent, winning the second set 6-3. Bhambri lost a golden opportunity of breaking Herbert’s serve in the fourth game of the third set. The Frenchman capitalized on these mistakes made by Bhambri and went on to secure that game. Herbert then broke Bhambri’s serve to make it 3-2 in his favour. And then there was no looking back from Herbert as he went on win the third set 6-4 and advance to the quarter-finals.

Marton Fucsovics vs Benoit Paire
Fourth seed, Benoit Paire made a perfect start to his second-round match against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics as he went on to win the first set 6-4. Fucsovics, who had defeated Nicolas Kicker in the first round, looked a bit rusty at the start but improved as the match progressed. After being neck-to-neck till 6-6 in the second set, Fucsovics eventually won the tiebreaker 7-4. The close contest continued in the third set as well, with no player ready to drop his intensity. Fucsovics almost broke Paire’s serve in the tenth game of the set but the Frenchman levelled things back to avoid defeat. The game eventually went into the tiebreaker with Paire coming out victorious. The final score read 6-4, 6-7(4-7), 7-6(7-6) in favor of the Frenchman.

Robin Haase vs Nicolas Jarry
Robin Haase advanced to the second round after a tight win over Blaz Kavcic and the Dutchman was taken aback by Nicolas Jarry, who won the first set 6-3 in quick time. Jarry was precise with his shots and won the important moments of the set to put the fifth seeded Haase, under a lot of pressure. Haase was at his best in the second set but Jarry was playing equally good. The second set eventually went into the tiebreaker with Haase winning it 7-5. After a tight contest in the third set, Haase was finally able to break Jarry’s serve as he won the 11th game to lead 6-5 and eventually winning the set 7-5 on his serve. The match ended after 2 hours and 10 mins with Haase sealing the quarter final berth with a score of 3-6, 7-6(7-5), 7-5.

Roberto Bautista Agut vs Gilles Simon
Defending champion, Roberto Bautista Agut faced former world no. 6, Gilles Simon in the second heavyweight clash at the Centre Court. Simon had a great start to the match as he broke Bautista Agut’s serve in the 6th game itself. The Frenchman did not let the Spaniard put his head up with a combination of well-timed backhands and forehands. He wrapped up the first set 6-3 and made a strong statement against the Spaniard. Bautista Agut, who had got a bye in the first round, found his mark in the second set but Simon was playing his best Tennis. The set eventually went into the tiebreaker with the in-form Simon, keeping his cool and winning it 7-5, to win the match in straight sets and progressing to the quarter-finals.

Mikhail Kukushkin vs Laslo Djere
The seventh seeded Kazakh, had one day’s break after his triumph over Radu Albot in the first round. Kukushkin was positive from the start as he played an array of shots. Although, Djere showed great promise, he lost the first set 7-5. Djere again, did not let his focus go away and challenged Kukushkin till the end. But the Kazakh held his nerves in the tiebreaker to win 7-5 and bag the match in straight sets to advance into the quarters of the tournament.

Roman Jebavy / Jiri Vesely vs Hans Podlipnik-Castillo / Andrei Vasilevski
The first doubles quarter-final of the day saw the Czech duo taking on Podlipnik-Castillo and Vasilevski. It was a closely fought first set with both pairs playing incredibly well. Jebavy/Vesely won the set in the tiebreaker to take the all-important lead. They continued their good work in the second set too and did not allow their opponents to make a comeback. Podlipnik-Castillo and Vasilevski, who were seeded third, failed to get their act together which resulted into them losing their serve and eventually the match as well. The Czech pair won the match 7-6(7-4), 7-5.

Ilya Ivashka vs Ricardo Ojeda Lara
Ricardo Ojeda Lara, who defeated sixth seed Jiri Vesely in the last round, was nimble on his feet right from the start. The Spaniard was aggressive and confident of his shots as he won the first set 6-4. After being one set down, Ivashka had to come back stronger but the Spaniard didn’t let that happen. Ricardo broke the serve once and won the set 6-4 to win the match in straight sets and progressed to the quarter-finals.

Marin Cilic vs Ramkumar Ramanathan
The tournament’s Top Seed, Marin Cilic faced India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan in front of a packed Centre Court. While there was a sizeable support for Cilic, the crowd was backing the young Indian with full fervour. Ramanathan was strong in his defence in the early part of the first set but the Croatian won it 6-4. Cilic got more aggressive as the match moved ahead and in spite of heavy support for the Indian, Cilic was heading towards victory. He won the set (6-3) quite easily in the end and advanced to the quarters.

Yuki Bhambri / Divij Sharan vs Laslo Djere / Blaz Kavcic
The Indian pair was clinical from the start of the first set as they were excellent in their coordination. Djere and Kavcic were not able to match the class of the these two as they lost the first set 2-6. Bhambri and Sharan played more aggressively in the second set. They played some good shots, as a result of which, bagged the second set (6-2) with ease. The Indian pair will now face the top seeds, Robert Lindstedt and Franko Skugor in the quarter-finals.

Thiago Monteiro vs Kevin Anderson
In today’s last match, second seed Kevin Anderson faced Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro. Known for his powerful serves, the South African was creating problems with Monteiro struggling to cope up in the early stages of the match. But Monteiro did not lose his focus and made sure he won his service games. The first set went into a tiebreaker as Anderson showed his class and experience to win it 7-4. The second set was also a closely fought contest until the Brazilian had to retire because of an injury. The final score read 7-6(7-4), 3-2 in favour of Kevin Anderson.

With this, another exciting day of Tennis ended at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune. We will have the Singles and Doubles quarter-finals played tomorrow so don’t forget to follow Tata Open Maharashtra on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and use #AdvantagePune to interact with us!