Indian tennis round-up: Divij Sharan reaches Antwerp quarter-finals, Leander Paes out of Stockholm
Indian tennis players had mixed fortunes on Tuesday as Divij Sharan made it to the quarter-finals of the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium but Leander Paes and Purav Raja bowed out of the Stockholm Open. Sharan, in partnership with American Scott Lipsky, ground out a thrilling 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 win over the Belgian pair of Steve Darcis and Arthur De Greef in the first round.
Sharan has come to this tournament on the back of a runner-up finish at the Tashkent Challenger alongside Yuki Bhambri last week and will look to build on that performance.
The left-handed Sharan and Lipsky managed to convert two out of their four break point opportunities while conceding two service breaks of their own. The Indo-American pair has a tough task up next as they face the third seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram for a place in the semi-finals.
Paes and Raja secured more breaks in their loss
Over in Stockholm, Leander Paes and Purav Raja ended up on the losing side of a similarly tight match. Third seeds Jack Sock and Nenad Zimonjic edged them 3-6, 7-6(3), 10-8 in the first round in 1 hour 21 minutes.
Incidentally, the Indian pair was the one who secured more breaks, yet had to bite the dust in the end. In comparison to the two breaks earned by the third seeds, the Indians broke them thrice.
In WTA, the only Indian playing this week -- Prarthana Thombare too faced defeat. The Asian Games bronze medallist and her Romanian partner, Alexandra Cadantu were beaten 5-7, 1-6 by the Brazilian-Paraguayan combine of Beatriz Haddad Maia and Veronica Cepede Royg in the first round of the Luxembourg Open.
Nedunchezhiyan cruises in Ningbo Challenger
The top seeded pair of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Christopher Rungkat cruised into the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-3, 6-2 win over Japan’s Shuichi Sekiguchi and Go Soeda. They next face the winner of the all-Chinese contest between Di Wu-Yibing Wu and Yan Bai-Zhe Li.
In singles, 20-year-old Sumit Nagal saw his campaign getting over at the hands of Australia’s Marinko Matosevic after a 2-6, 4-6 first round defeat.
The 314th ranked Indian, who has been a former junior Wimbledon doubles champion, dropped his serve four times in this match.