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Leander Paes and Lukas Rosol reach semi-finals of Irving Challenger

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
18 Mar 2016, 22:29 IST
leander paes
Leander Paes and Lukas Rosol have been seeded fourth in the tournament

Leander Paes, who is still searching for consistency this season, has been showing flashes of his brilliance this week as he and Lukas Rosol stormed into the semi-finals of the $125, 000 Irving Tennis Classic in Dallas, USA on Thursday. The fourth seeds needed just 52 minutes to thrash the Aussie-Kiwi partnership of John-Patrick Smith and Michael Venus, 6-2, 6-4 in their quarter-final match.

The Indo-Czech pair will next meet the second seeds Andre Sa and Chris Guccione for a place in the summit clash.

It has been a struggle for the former World No. 1 Paes in 2016 who has won just five matches while losing five. That has resulted in his ranking plummeting to a lowly 60th.

At the Irving Challenger, he has managed to rediscover some of his lost spark as he and Rosol managed to win both their matches in straight sets. They started with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over the Brazilian-Ecuadorian duo of Rogerio Dutra Silva and Giovanni Lapentti.

In the quarter-finals on Thursday, their stats sheet was pretty neat with 72% first serves in. They broke their opponents four times while getting broken themselves just once. Paes and Rosol would surely like to continue in the same vein to give themselves a big boost ahead of the Olympics.

Saketh Myneni, Yuki Bhambri out of Guangzhou Challenger

Meanwhile, the Indian campaign at the $50, 000 GDP Cup ATP Challenger in Guangzhou, China came to an end on Friday as sixth-seeded Yuki Bhambri retired while Saketh Myneni lost in their respective second round matches.

The unseeded Myneni was edged by local hope Ze Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 2-6 in 1 hour 57 minutes. Bhambri, unfortunately, had to retire due to an elbow injury while trailing Chinese wildcard Zhe Li 1-4 in the first set.

It also prompted the Indian pair to withdraw from their doubles quarter-final, giving the top seeds Sanchai Ratiwatana and Sonchat Ratiwatana a walkover into the last-four.

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