Spirited Nagal advances

Spirited Nagal advances

On a day when six of the seven singles encounters were decided in three sets, India's Sumit Nagal won hearts with his fighting effort to enter the quarterfinals but the fancied Ramkumar Ramanathan was shown the door here at the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association on Wednesday.  

Nagal was hit by cramps but prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 over Brydan Klein of Britain in a gruelling contest. The 20-year-old, a junior doubles champion at Wimbledon in 2015, was treated by the physiotherapist twice post the second set. In a match that saw consistent long rallies, Nagal managed to fetch out the winners marginally more than his opponent.

Slovenia's Blaz Kavcic, the top seed, will be Nagal's opponent on Wednesday. Kavcic eked out a scratchy 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Mario Viella Martinez of Spain. It was Kavcic's second straight three-setter and the 30-year-old admitted that a knee inflammation has made things difficult. "I am struggling with pain so I don't practice much. Physically I am not fit and that was a big issue in today's game," said Kavcic.

Later in the day, fifth-seeded Ramkumar, who had a miraculous escape in the first round on Tuesday, suffered a 7-6, 2-6, 4-6 defeat to unseeded Jay Clarke of Britain. Ramkumar's inability to latch on to two break points in the third game of the final set proved costly as Clarke saved both with strong serves. The Indian collected points with his fine net-play but the Brit found a way out in the ninth game. Leading 5-4, Clarke broke Ramkumar's serve with some clean winners to clinch the tie.

Third seed Yuki Bhambri wasn't troubled much in his clash against Pedro Martinez of Spain and the home hope advanced to the last eight 6-2, 7-6 (0). The Indian no 1 will face compatriot Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who beat Marc Polmans of Australia 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-1.  

Results (prefix denotes seedings): Second round: Singles: Prajnesh Gunneswaran (Ind) bt Marc Polmans (Aus) 6-2, 6-7 (1), 6-1; 3-Yuki Bhambri (Ind) bt Pedro Martinez (Esp) 6-2, 7-6 (0); Jay Clarke (Gbr) bt 5-Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-6 (3), 2-6, 4-6; Tsung-Hua Yang (Tpe) bt Borna Gojo (Cro) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2; 1-Blaz Kavcic (Slo) bt Mario Viella Martinez (Esp) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; Sumit Nagal (Ind) bt Brydan Klein (Gbr) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5; Antoine Escoffier (Fra) bt 8-Aleksandr Nedovyesov (Kaz) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3; Ante Pavic (Cro) bt Elias Ymer (Swe) 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5).

Doubles: 1-Divij Sharan (Ind)/Mikhail Elgin (Rus) bt Sumit Nagal (Ind)/Elias Ymer (Swe) 6-3, 6-3; Ivan Sabanov/Matej Sabanov (Cro) bt 2-Brydan Klein/Marc Polmans (Aus) 6-1, 2-6, [10-8].

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