The round of 16 of the Bangkok ATP Challenger held on Thursday saw mixed fortunes for the two Indian men’s singles players — Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sasi Kumar Mukund.
While his opponent's injury may have helped Ramkumar Ramanathan ease through his round of 32 clash on Tuesday, it was pure performance that propelled the 25-year-old through to the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Meanwhile, it was a straight-sets defeat that saw Sasi Kumar Mukund’s Bangkok challenge come to an end.
Ramkumar Ramanathan evens the odds
Even though the second-seeded Go Soeda was the favourite heading into the contest, Ramkumar Ramanathan got the better of the considerably higher-ranked Japanese with a 7-5, 7-5 victory.
After both men held on to their serves for the first 10 games in the opening set, Ramanathan managed to break Soeda in the 11th and that proved to be decisive, as the next game saw the Indian win again and take the set.
The second set, however, saw Soeda break Ramkumar Ramanathan after five games and stretch out a 5-2 lead.
Just when it seemed like the Indian was on the backfoot, he rallied back to break the Japanese on two occasions before securing a 7-5 win and wrap up the match in his favour.
Sasi Kumar Mukund’s Bangkok run ends
After beating the higher-ranked Paolo Lorenzi in his round of 32 match on Tuesday, Sasi Kumar Mukund's Bangkok run came to an end following a straight-sets defeat to Dmitry Popko.
The opening set produced a closely-contested fight that saw the two men tied at 4-4. However, while Sasi Kumar Mukund could only manage one point after that, the 14th-seeded Dmitry Popko went on a tear, breaking the Indian once along the way to a 7-5 win.
In the second set, the Kazakhstan-native held on to his serve in the first five games before tying with the Indian 3-3.
Following that, barring a solitary point scored by Sasi Kumar Mukund, it was Dmitry Popko who took control of the contest to eke out a 6-4 triumph, breaking the Indian's serve once.
Ramkumar Ramanathan will look to continue his winning form in the quarter-finals next, as he takes on the Netherlands’ Robin Haase on Friday at 10:30 AM IST.