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Rohan Bopanna reaches Eastbourne semis, Leander Paes crashes out in Antalya

Bopanna and Sa broke their opponents twice in the first set 
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 30 Jun 2017, 16:03 IST
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Thursday proved to be a day of mixed fortunes for Indian tennis players as Rohan Bopanna and Andre Sa made it to the semi-finals of the Aegon International in Eastbourne, Great Britain. But Leander Paes did not have the same fortunes as he and Adil Shamasdin were beaten in the last-four at the Antalya Open in Turkey.

Bopanna looking for his first title since the French Open

Bopanna, who won the mixed doubles title at the French Open – his maiden Major title - is looking to repeat his success on the hallowed grass lawns of Wimbledon. He brought that same spirit and confidence on the slick surface as he and Ivan Dodig upset the world’s top-ranked pair of Henri Kontinen and John Peers en route to reaching the semi-finals at the Queen’s Club last week.

This week, the Indian is trying to do better. In partnership with South Africa’s Andre Sa, Bopanna prevailed over the experienced Polish-Belarusian duo of Marcin Matkowski and Max Mirnyi, 6-2, 6(2)-7, 10-3 to enter the semis.

Bopanna and Sa broke their opponents twice in the first set but squandered a couple of opportunities in the second set which stretched the match to a tie-break that the Indo-South African pair dominated.

In the semi-finals, they will meet fellow unseeded team of Robin Haase and Dominic Inglot.

Double whammy for Indians in Turkey

Over in Turkey, Paes and Shamasdin, who were seeded fourth, went down 4-6, 4-6 to the second seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the semi-finals. The same pair had also stopped Purav Raja and Divij Sharan in the quarter-finals in a hard-fought battle, 7-6(9), 6(4)-7, 10-4.

Paes and Shamasdin were on a six-match winning streak after capturing the Aegon Ilkley Challenger Trophy last week.

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It was a day of double whammy for Indian players at Antalya as young Ramkumar Ramanathan too crashed out in the quarter-finals even after saving as many as five match points against the former Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis.

The World No. 222 Indian trailed his veteran rival 1-6 in the decisive tie-break before finding some remarkable resilience to come back and level the breaker at 6-6.

However, Baghdatis managed to stave off his late surge since then and won the next couple of points to grab the 6(0)-7, 6-3, 7-6(6) win.

Ramkumar had earlier caused a huge upset by shocking the top seed and World No. 8 Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

Published 30 Jun 2017, 15:38 IST
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