Ramkumar Ramanathan, Purav Raja fall short at Ferrero Challenger

The Indians suffered a straight-sets loss in the doubles quarter-finals to the local pair of Pedro Martinez Portero and Gerard Granollers in Alicante, Spain.

By Naveen Peter ·

India’s challenge at the ATP Ferrero Challenger came to an end following losses of the doubles pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja and of N Sriram Balaji and his Swiss partner Luca Margaroli on Thursday.

While the top seeds at the competition, Ramanathan and Raja suffered a 6-2, 6-2 loss to local duo

Pedro Martinez Portero and Gerard Granollers, Balaji and Margaroli tasted a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to USA’s Hunter Reese and Poland’s Jan Zieliński.

Coming to the tie on the back of a convincing win in the previous round, the Ramanathan and Raja duo were keen to build on the momentum. But they got off to a poor start and were broken in the third game.

The Spaniards ensured that they made the Indian duo pay for their errors as another break in the seventh saw them take a 5-2 lead which all but sealed the set in their favour. 

Soon after, Gerard Granollers’ towering serves had the Indians in trouble as the Spaniards wrapped up the set to get their noses in front.

Early breaks in both the sets were Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja’s undoing at the ATP Ferrero Challenger. Photo: Bengaluru Tennis Open/Instagram

The second set was no different, with Portero and Granollers breaking the Indians in the opening game and then going on to control the match with their attacking game.

The Spaniards broke the Indian pair in the fifth game too before going on to win the match by saving three break-points.

Later, though Balaji and Margaroli showed some resilience, they couldn’t muster much as they lost their quarter-final match in straight sets. 

Broken in the third game of the opening set, Balaji and Margaroli got back into the match with a break of their own in the fourth. 

But the good work was undone in the ninth as Reese and Zieliński broke back before wrapping up the set.

The second set was a closely contested one. And all it took was a break in the ninth game to hand Reese and Zieliński the win.