Nanchang Challenger: Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran reach quarter-finals
Indian tennis stars had a flawless day at the Nanchang Challenger in China on Thursday as both Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran made it through to the quarter-finals. The fourth seeded Ramanathan needed 1 hour 4 minutes to dismiss Czech Republic’s Vaclav Safranek 7-5, 6-1 while the unseeded Gunneswaran upset the eighth seeded Alex Bolt 7-6(5), 6-1 in just 1 hour 11 minutes.
The 23-year-old Ramanathan produced eight aces and won 75% of his first serves. He was impressive on returns as well, converting four out of the six break points that he got.
He has been in good form of late. His run to the Taipei Challenger last week hauled him up by 17 places to a career-high ranking of 116th.
He will lock horns with Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesov for a place in the semi-finals.
The 28-year-old Gunneswaran, who was India’s Davis Cup hero a few days back, too had decent statistics on serve. Riding on seven aces, he grabbed 80% of his first serve points. He saved all the four break points that he faced and made in-roads into Bolt’s serve twice.
It’s a tall order for Gunneswaran in his next match for he faces the third seed Quentin Halys.
Bopanna advances at the Monte Carlo Masters
Ramanathan and Gunneswaran are not the only Indians winning this week. Indian doubles star Rohan Bopanna too has made progress at the ongoing Monte Carlo Masters, the first of the three ATP Masters 1000 events on clay.
Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin beat James Cerretani and Andreas Seppi 6-1, 7-5 on Tuesday to begin their campaign on a good note. Next up for them are the seventh seeds and multiple Grand Slam champions Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray.
Indians progress at the Sarasota Challenger
At the Sarasota Challenger in the USA, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja too made a winning start. The Indian pair, who is seeded fourth at this tournament, had to work hard for their 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 win over the American wildcard combine of Robert Galloway and Mitchell Krueger.
In the quarter-finals, the Indians will take on the British duo of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara.