The Indian men’s doubles pair of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan made it to the semi-finals of the BB&T Atlanta Open as the US hardcourt swing got under way. The duo, seeded fourth at this tournament, needed 1 hour 56 minutes to see off the Mexican-American combine of Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky, 6(6)-7, 7-6(5), 10-3 in the quarter-finals.
They next take on the unseeded Dutch-Kiwi partnership of Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak for a berth in the summit clash.
However, the other Indian taking part in this event was not so lucky. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who was playing with Korea’s Hyeon Chung, crashed out 1-6, 2-6 to the top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the last-eight stage.
Raja and Sharan, meanwhile, continue their decent run on the tour. They started the year by reaching the Chennai Open final and then went on to clinch the Bordeaux Challenger title. Following their pre-quarter-final appearance at the French Open, they won the first round of Wimbledon for the first time before narrowly going down in five sets in the next round.
They have come to the Atlanta Open after a quarter-final finish at the Hall of Fame Open last week.
Paes makes early exit
It did not prove to be a fruitful week for the other Indians in action at different other tournaments. Leander Paes made an early exit from the Swiss Open Gstaad. Paes and unheralded Antonio Sancic of Croatia succumbed to a 3-6, 2-6 defeat to the Brazilian duo of Andre Sa and Thomaz Bellucci in the first round.
At the WTA Ericsson Open in Bastad, Sweden, Prarthana Thombare went down in the quarter-finals alongside Jessica Moore. The Indo-Australian combine was beaten 3-6, 2-6 by the second seeds Alicja Rosolska and Oksana Kalashnikova.
Sania Mirza to team up with Peng Shuai at US Open
The other top Indian stars return to action next week as they look to sharpen their game ahead of the US Open, beginning August 28.
Mirza, who has been struggling to find a stable partner this season, will team up with fellow former World No. 1 Peng Shuai at the US Open. The two will be hoping to get some much-needed practice and confidence at Toronto and Cincinnati where they will be playing together.
But before that, Mirza will team up with her former partner, Monica Niculescu at next week’s Citi Open in Washington. Niculescu, who is the 2017 Wimbledon runner-up, won at New Haven with the Indian last year.
The reigning French Open mixed doubles champion Rohan Bopanna also resumes competitive play next week at the same tournament where Ramkumar Ramanathan and Yuki Bhambri too are playing. They are the top two seeds in singles qualifying and are vying for a spot in the main draw spot at this ATP 500 event.