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US Open 2016: Saketh Myneni reaches final round of qualifying

Myneni has never played in the main draw of a Grand Slam before.

Saketh Myneni
Saketh Myneni one step closer to the main draw

India’s Saketh Myneni is now one win away from securing a main draw berth at a Grand Slam for the first time as he reached the final round of US Open qualifying at New York on Thursday. The World No. 115, who is seeded 26th, beat Mitchell Krueger of the USA, 7-6(6), 6-4 in 1 hour 28 minutes.
The 28-year-old faces World No. 200 Pedja Krstin of Serbia on Friday for a place in the main draw.

It was not easy for the Indian Davis Cupper as he had to claw his way back from an early break down in the first set. The competitive opening set then headed to a tie-break where the Indian managed to edge past his lower-ranked opponent by the slimmest of margins, 8-6.

The second set too remained even after both exchanged a pair of breaks. It was finally the seventh game where the Indian made in-roads into the American’s serve again following which he served out the match successfully.

The Asian Games gold medallist finished with a tally of 75 points to Krueger’s 64.

Mirza, Paes advance in pre-US Open warm-up events

Saketh Myneni was not the only Indian tennis player winning on Thursday. Both Sania Mirza and Leander Paes too won their respective quarter-final matches in pre-US Open warm-up events to make it a grand day for India.

Seconds seeds Mirza and Monica Niculescu needed just 1 hour 2 minutes to comfortably beat the Australian-Croatian pair of Anastasia Rodionova and Darija Jurak, 6-1, 6-4 and advance to the semi-finals of the Connecticut Open in New Haven, USA. They will next face the Slovenian combine of Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik for a place on the summit clash.

Over in ATP Winston-Salem in North Carolina, Paes continued his good run, partnering Germany’s Andre Begemann. The two caused a huge upset on Thursday as they ousted the top seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Lukasz Kubot, 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour 54 minutes.

The Indo-German team, who are wildcards, converted four out of the 12 break point opportunities they got and conceded only two breaks of serve. They also won 78% of their first serve points while their opponents could manage to grab only 57% of their first serve points.

Next up for the unseeded Indo-German pair is the Swedish-Pakistani combine of Robert Lindstedt and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. The latter pair is seeded third.

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