THE HINDU : Pune Challenger: Myneni enters semifinals

Ramkumar, Yuki also make last four

Saketh Myneni has turned out to be the surprise packet in the KPIT-MSLTA $50,000 ATP Challenger at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Sports Complex. Laid low by a foot injury for a major part of the year, the 30-year-old wild-card awardee, notched up his third win when he scalped the Slovenian top seed and ranked 102 in the world, Blaz Kavcic in the quarterfinals in two tie-breaker sets 7-6(5), 7-6(5).

With both players making several errors, the two-hour match failed to rise above the mediocre, and tournament favourite Kavcic paid the price for being profligate with his overall approach against a rival who once had a high ranking of 137 as against the current 907.

Troubled by a shoulder spasm, Myneni took medical assistance after the first set and after the third game of the second and, most importantly, delivered the big serves when it mattered. He sent down 12 aces.

“I did know what it was (the shoulder problem). Just got it (locked shoulder) released. It was more of a pinch than pain. I have been taking it match by match. I have hardly practised for 10 days. I am not anywhere close to what I was. I have played three opponents with different styles. Obviously victory tastes sweet, “said Myneni.

The unseeded Myneni will lock horns with No. 4 seed Ramkumar Ramanathan who prevailed over Serbian Nikola Milojevic 6-1, 7-5.

No. 3 seed Yuki Bhambri was not at his best, yet he overcame Great Britain’s Jay Clarke in straight sets.

The results: Quarterfinals: Saketh Myneni bt Blaz Kavcic (Slo) 7-6(5), 7-6(5); Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Esp) bt Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) 7-5, 4-1 (retd); Yuki Bhambri bt Jay Clarke (GBr) 6-4, 6-0; Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Nikola Milojevic (Srb) 6-1, 7-5.

Doubles: Quarterfinals: Myneni & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Sumit Nagal & Naoki Nakagawa (Jpn) 6-0, 6-3.


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