Bengaluru Open: Sumit Nagal shocks top seed, Yuki Bhambri advances to semi-finals
20-year-old Sumit Nagal caused the biggest upset of the day as he shocked the top seeded Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia to set up a semi-final clash with Yuki Bhambri at the $100, 000 Bengaluru Open held on the hardcourts at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association grounds on Thursday.
The former junior Wimbledon doubles champion never relinquished control of this 1 hour 16 minute match before notching up a 6-3, 6-4 win. Nagal at 321 is placed 219 spots below the 102nd ranked Kavcic.
But the wide gulf in the rankings did not matter as Nagal put on a show of maturity, completely outplaying his higher ranked opponent. He broke Kavcic once in the first set and then converted both his break points in the second set.
Nagal finished with a total tally of 65 points while Kavcic had to be content with only 51 points.
Bhambri continues winning streak
Up next for him is the third seed and Pune Challenger champion Yuki Bhambri. The India No. 1 effortlessly beat his compatriot, Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour 19 minutes to progress into the last-four stage.
Bhambri converted three out of the four break point opportunities that he got and did not concede any break at all. The 25-year-old finished with 69 points while Gunneswaran had only 57 points.
With this win, the 122nd Bhambri is now on an eight match winning streak, having won the Pune Challenger just last week.
The other semi-final will be contested between Great Britain’s Jay Clarke and Chinese Taipei’s Tsung-Hua Yang. Clarke, who upset home favourite Ramkumar Ramanathan in the previous round, needed three gruelling sets to prevail over fellow giant-killer Ante Pavic, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(1) in a 121 minute marathon.
Meanwhile, Yang recorded a commanding 6-4, 6-4 win over French lucky loser Antoine Escoffier to advance to the semi-finals.
Sharan in doubles final
Divij Sharan’s brilliant end of season continues as he and Mikhail Elgin made it to the doubles final. The top seeds held their nerves for a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 win over the all-Indian combine of N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan.
This is the fourth Challenger final of the season for Sharan, who won the ATP 250 title at Antwerp alongside Scott Lipsky just last month.
He and Elgin take on the unseeded Croatian pair of Ivan Sabanov and Matej Sabanov in the title showdown on Friday.