Hall of Fame Open 2018: Ramkumar Ramanathan vs Steve Johnson final preview, telecast, live streaming, date, start time and where to watch online
Ramkumar Ramanathan (WR #161) vs (3) Steve Johnson (WR #48)
Head-to-head: First meeting
In what has been a spectacular year for Indian tennis, 23-year-old Ramkumar Ramanathan’s reaching the final at the Hall of Fame Open has so far been the jewel in the crown. Yuki Bhambri, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ankita Raina have all been contributing to the steady rise of Indian tennis this year.
But Ramanathan did what no Indian has managed to do in seven years -- reach a final on the ATP World Tour. The last time an Indian was seen vying for the title on the main circuit was in 2011 when the now-retired Somdev Deevvarman made it to the summit clash of the SA Tennis Open. He eventually finished as the runner-up to the 2018 Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson.
Ramanathan has a golden chance to better that record and emulate his idol, Leander Paes’s feat at the same venue 20 years ago. The evergreen doubles maestro remains the last Indian to triumph in singles on the ATP circuit. Prakash Amritraj came close to joining him in 2008 at the very same event, but had to remain content as the second best.
Ramkumar has been pretty impressive all week. In four matches, he has dropped a set only once -- to the eighth seed Denis Kudla in the quarter-finals. While his ranking is set to rise by at least 40 places on Monday, the challenge is a steep one for the Indian.
Steve Johnson is an experienced campaigner and is perched at 48th in the current world rankings -- 113 places above the Indian. He also has three ATP career titles on his resume, one of which came on the lustrous green lawns of Nottingham in 2016.
The fact that Ramanathan has so far beaten only one top-50 player in his career indicates that his task is cut out. The American, who will also enjoy home support, has dazzled in front on his home crowd all week, conceding a total of 15 games in his three matches.
The odds are definitely in his favour, but self-belief can do wonders. If Ramkumar can find the confidence that he has been showing all week, he can surely cause an upset and create history for India.
Here’s all the information you need to know:
Tournament name: Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open 2018
Category: ATP 250 tournament
Location: Newport, Rhode Island, USA
Date: Sunday, July 22, 2018
Time: 8.30pm IST
Broadcast: No live telecast on television
Live updates: On Sportskeeda