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Marbella Challenger: Ramkumar Ramanathan beats Sumit Nagal to enter quarter-finals

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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29 Mar 2018, 14:25 IST

ramkumar ramanathan
Ramkumar Ramanathan

Indian tennis ace Ramkumar Ramanathan continued his mastery over Sumit Nagal with a commanding win over his 20-year-old compatriot to enter the quarter-finals of the Casino Admiral Trophy -- an ATP Challenger tournament in Marbella, Spain on Wednesday. The 23-year-old needed just 1 hour 10 minutes to brush aside the challenger of the Indian lucky loser 6-2, 6-3.

The 136th ranked Ramanathan now goes on to meet the third seed and World No. 97 Marco Cecchinato of Italy for a place in the semi-finals.

Ramanathan had double delight on Wednesday as he also notched up a win in doubles to advance to the semi-finals. The Indian and Spain’s Enrique Lopez Perez held their nerves for a tight 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 10-8 win over fellow unseeded German-Czech combine of Andre Begemann and Lukas Rosol in the quarter-finals.

The two had begun their campaign with a 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 upset win over the second seeds Antonio Sancic and Roman Jebavy in the first round.

Ramanathan’s latest win over Nagal was this fourth victory over the former junior Wimbledon doubles champion in as many meetings. The senior Indian had a strong show on his serves, producing six aces and winning 78% of his first serve points.

He was equally impressive on the returns and converted five out of the nine break points that he earned. He conceded just a solitary service break, in the first set, before asserting his supremacy in the remainder of the match.

Ramkumar lost his last match to Yuki Bhambri in the qualifying rounds at the Indian Wells Masters. He is looking to reach the semi-finals of any tournament for the first time this season.

Nedunchezhiyan and Raja upset

At the St. Brieuc Challenger in France, second seeds Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja were stunned 6-7(5), 6-3, 8-10 by Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana of Thailand.

The Indians had come to this event on the back of a runner-up finish at the Lille Challenger last week, but failed to ride on that momentum.

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