Ramkumar eyes maiden ATP World Tour title

Ramkumar eyes maiden ATP World Tour title

India's Ramkumar Ramanathan is one win away from becoming the second Indian to win a singles title in ATP World Tour. AP/PTI File Photo

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan extended his dream run at the Hall of Fame Open, reaching his maiden ATP World Tour singles final with a straight-set win over Tim Smyczek in Newport, USA.

The 23-year-old from Chennai beat the American 6-4, 7-5 to become the first Indian in seven years to make it to the singles title round on ATP World Tour.

Ramkumar, ranked 161, has dropped just one set en route the final at the grasscourt event.

If Ramkumar wins, he will be first Indian in 20 years to win a singles title in ATP World Tour since Leander Paes won the same title in 1998.

Somdev Devvarman was the last Indian to advance to a title clash on the ATP World Tour in Johannesburg in 2011 when he lost to current Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson.

“I was serving well and I just hung in there. I didn’t have the greatest first set on return, but I found a groove. He’s a really tricky opponent, especially on these courts. I’m pretty happy to get through,” Ramkumar said after his win.

Seven aces

Ramkumar, who has dropped one set all week , fired seven aces to the American’s four in the 90-minute match.

He will now take on local hope Steve Johnson.

Johnson defeated Spain’s Marcel Granollers 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal. Third seed Johnson needed just 68 minutes to beat Granollers, winning 88 percent of his first serve points and taking advantage of six double faults from the Spaniard.

Earlier on Saturday, 1991 Wimbledon champion Michael Stich and Czech Helena Sukova, who won 14 Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles crowns, were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.