Gritty Ramkumar storms into last 8

Tennis Chennai Open : Paes' doubles campaign ends

Gritty Ramkumar storms into last 8

 A gutsy Ramkumar Ramanathan buried a sluggish start to eke out an inspiring win over Alexander Kudryavtsev and enter the men’s singles quarterfinals of the Chennai Open here on Thursday.

Wild card Ramkumar worked his way to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over higher-ranked Russian, who had entered the event as a lucky loser. Ramkumar next plays World No 45 Aljaz Bedene, who defeated Luca Vanni 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

The win meant that Ramkumar is now unbeaten in his last 12 matches. He had won two ITF Futures titles at the end of the 2015 season in Gwalior and Mumbai, winning five matches each in the two events.

He had shocked World No 98 Daniel Gimelo-Traver in the first round here and with this win he has entered the quarterfinals of an ATP Tour event for the first time in his career.
Ramkumar changed the complexion of the game after losing the first set with his sheer grit and doggedness. He improved as the match progressed and egged on by the fans, he managed to down a strong opponent.

The Russian had done his homework well and did not allow Ramkumar to play on his big forehand initially. He made Ramkumar run on both the flanks, often forcing the Indian to play his shots running, without getting much time to settle or get into rhythm.

Earlier, Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano created the biggest upset of the tournament when he ousted sixth seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 6-4, 7-5 in 77 minutes.

Facing a tough rival in Lukas Rosol, ranked 55, World No 19 Paire had anxious moments throughout the match but remained focused to win 7-5, 7-5.

Paes forced to withdraw

Leander Paes will not take further part in with his men’s doubles partner, Marcel Granollers, falling ill.

“M_Granollers & @Leander withdraw from #ACO­2016 Doubles as the Spaniard is suffering from an illness,” tweeted the official handle of the Aircel Chennai Open.

Results (second round): Aljaz Bedene (Gbr) bt Luca Vanni (Ita) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4; Ramkumar Ramanathan (Ind) bt Alexander Kudryavtsev (Rus) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4; 3-Benoit Paire (Fra) bt Lukas Rosol (Cze) 7-5, 7-5; Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) bt 6-Gilles Muller (Lux) 6-4, 7-5.

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