Indian tennis legend Leander Paes moved into the semi-finals of the doubles at the Bengaluru Tennis Open 2020 after a 7-5, 0-6, 10-7 win with partner Matthew Ebden over third seeds Andre Goransson and Christopher Rungkat.
Other Indian tennis players that won on the fourth day included Saketh Myneni in the doubles as well as the pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja, also in the doubles.
Leander Paes, Matthew Ebden secure semis spot
The opening set saw Leander Paes’ serve broken in just the third game of the match. However, the Paes-Ebden combination broke back immediately before going on to take the first set 7-5.
It was a very different story though in the second set, as Goransson-Rungkat dominated to level the contest as Paes and Ebden failed to get a game on the board.
But in an exciting tiebreaker, 46-year-old Leander Paes looked sharp and executed a few crucial shots from both the baseline and the net. The Indian-Australia duo eventually prevailed 10-7 to secure a doubles spot in the last four of the Bengaluru Tennis Open.
Now Paes and his partner will face second seeds Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski in the semi finals. Can Paes secure a title on his home courts in his final season?
Ex-champions Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal stumble
Seventh seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran’s match against Benjamin Bonzi ended in disappointment for the Indian.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran was leading 4-2 at one stage in the tie-break but Benjamin Bonzi held his nerve and came back strongly to win the tie-break 7-5 and take the opening set as a result.
The seventh seed never seemed to recover after the first set while Benjamin Bonzi grew in confidence. The Frenchman wrapped up the second game in no time, winning it 6-0 to eliminate Prajnesh Gunneswaran and advance to the next round.
Ninth seed Sumit Nagal didn’t have the best of starts to his match against 11th seed Blaz Rola either. His first two service games were broken by the Slovenian and even though Sumit Nagal grew into the contest as the match progressed, the number nine seed couldn’t prevent himself from going down 6-3 in the opening set.
Blaz Rola then broke Sumit Nagal in the third game of the second set and went on to consolidate by holding his serve and winning the set 6-3 to qualify for the next round.
Sidharth Rawat, Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha also exit singles
The opening match of the day saw Sidharth Rawat taking on Julian Ocleppo of Italy. Sidharth Rawat had caused one of the biggest upsets on the opening day of the Bengaluru Tennis Open and then got the better of Rishi Reddy in the next round.
His Bengaluru Tennis Open run, though, came to an end on Thursday after the Italian beat Sidharth Rawat in convincing fashion. Ocleppo won the first set 7-5 before wrapping up the match by taking the second set 6-4.
Reigning national champion Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha suffered a straight-set loss as well. He lost the first set 5-7 and the second 3-6 against third seed Yuichi Sugita.
Ramkumar Ramanathan also went down in straight sets against Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka. Both players held their serve in the first set, which went to a tie-break that Ilya Ivashka won 7-2. The Belarusian won the second set more convincingly by taking the first five games before eventually closing it out 6-1 to progress to the next round.
Saketh Myneni falls short in singles but advances in doubles
Saketh Myneni’s strong run at the Bengaluru Tennis Open came to an end in the third round after going down in a hard-fought match that lasted more than two hours against ninth seed Thomas Fabbiano.
Runners-up in the 2018 Bengaluru Tennis Open, Saketh Myneni toiled hard against the Italian having lost the opening set 4-6. Saketh Myneni fought back in the second set to win it 7-5 but seemed to run out of steam in the deciding set, which he lost 2-6.
Saketh Myneni enjoyed better luck in his doubles match, which saw him team up with Australian Matt Reid. They lost the opening set 3-6 but came back to win the second 6-4 and then emerged triumphant 10-8 in the tie-break.
Like Saketh Myneni, Ramkumar Ramanathan, who lost his singles match earlier in the day, had a better doubles outing with partner Purav Raja. The Indian tennis duo beat Frederico Ferreira Silva and Nikola Milojevic 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets to book their spot in the semi-finals.
What’s next for India at the Bengaluru Tennis Open
Day 5 of the Bengaluru Tennis Open will witness semi-final action in the doubles with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purva Raja facing off against Saketh Myneni and Matt Reid, while Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden take on Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski.
Where to watch the Bengaluru Tennis Open
The Bengaluru Tennis Open is taking place at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association in Bengaluru and since it’s a part of the ATP’s Challenger Tour, the tournament will be streamed live on the ATP website.