Wednesday turned out to be a dream day for Indian fans thanks to Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s much-talked about big 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3 win over World No. 23 Denis Shapovalov at the Mercedes Cup, an ATP 250 tournament at Stuttgart, that serves as a Wimbledon warm-up event. But he was not the only Indian to win as Ramkumar Ramanathan too continued his good form at the Nottingham Open, an ATP Challenger event held in Great Britain.
In doubles, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan too brought delight for Indian fans when he and Austin Krajicek, seeded fourth, made it to the semi-finals of the aforementioned British tournament.
Gunneswaran was, of course, the one among these victors to steal the show. The 28-year-old had waited to play his first round at the German tournament for two days, but rain prevented him and his fellow leftie, Denis Shapovalov from taking the court. Despite having been on a good run of late, the Indian wasn’t given a chance, considering his Canadian opponent has already established himself as one of the fastest-rising teenagers on the Tour.
However, the World No. 23 was put on the backfoot by the 169th ranked Indian for much of the match. Getting a couple of wins in the qualifying stages had evidently done him a world of good since he looked more suited to the conditions.
In the final set, Gunneswaran faced a late fightback from the 19-year-old as he was broken while serving for the match at 5-1. But he managed to regain his composure soon after and secured the win in his ATP World Tour main draw debut in 1 hour 50 minutes.
Gunneswaran will next take on the World No. 75 Guido Pella in a bid to have a much-coveted face-off with Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.
Double delight for Indians at Nottingham Open
Over at the Nottingham Open, the World No. 128 Ramkumar Ramanathan defeated Tobias Kamke, ranked 100 places below him, on his way to the quarter-finals. Ramanathan produced nine aces and broke Kamke thrice in his 7-6(1), 6-3 win in 1 hour 33 minutes.
Up next for the fifth seeded Ramanathan is Spanish veteran Marcel Granollers.
At the same tournament, Nedunchezhiyan and Krajicek beat Adrian Menendez-Maceiras and Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-5, 6-4 to enter the semi-finals.
At the Libema Open in the Netherlands, Purav Raja’s campaign came to an end when he and Fabrice Martin went down 6-7(6), 5-7 to the third seeds Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor in the quarter-finals.