Ramanathan slays Granollers to advance

Omkar Paranjape
Wednesday, 2 January 2019

PUNE: Ramkumar Ramanathan was the toast of town as he registered a memorable win to knock out Spanish Marcel Granollers in three sets at the ATP 250 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Tennis Complex on Tuesday.

In a scintillating contest that lasted close to two hours, Ramanathan held his nerve to notch up a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win to make it to the last 16. In the round of 16, Ramanathan will play Tunisia’s fourth seeded Malek Jaziri on Wednesday.

PUNE: Ramkumar Ramanathan was the toast of town as he registered a memorable win to knock out Spanish Marcel Granollers in three sets at the ATP 250 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Tennis Complex on Tuesday.

In a scintillating contest that lasted close to two hours, Ramanathan held his nerve to notch up a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win to make it to the last 16. In the round of 16, Ramanathan will play Tunisia’s fourth seeded Malek Jaziri on Wednesday.

His change in approach after trailing a set paid rich dividends as he attacked Granollers’ vulnerable backhand and service.

“It was a close match, which could’ve gone either way. The crowd really made the difference and I was able to bank on that in the third set,” a visibly elated Ramanathan exuded post the match.

TOPSY-TURVY CONTEST
The opening set was a roller-coaster ride that saw both the players failing to hold their service games in the early exchanges. The Spaniard then held the fourth game to consolidate the break to a 3-1 lead and win the first set consequently 6-4.

Against all the odds, Ramanathan upped his game and came out firing all guns in the second set. With both the players failing to convert multiple break-points, it all boiled down to the tenth game. Granollers’ serve was put under severe pressure by Ramanathan, who forced a crucial break and drew level with 6-4.

By now, the momentum was shifting in favour of the resurgent Ramanathan, who started dominating the proceedings. He earned a crucial break in the fourth game of the deciding set to race to a 3-1 lead. The lanky 24-year old then saw out the next three service games to seal the famous win much to the delight of the vocal crowd. 

BOPANNA-DIVIJ ADVANCE
Top seeded Indian pair Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan sparkled as they entered the quarter-finals of Men’s Doubles event with a dominating 6-1, 6-2 win over Radu Albot-Malek Jaziri pair in less than 40 minutes on Tuesday.

SAKETH WITHDRAWS
It was a farcical start to the day for India as Saketh Myneni pulled out of his first round match against fifth seed Benoit Paire citing foot injury. Going by the rulebook, he was replaced in the main draw by ‘lucky loser’ Thiago Monteiro. Incidentally, the 31-year-old Saketh had taken medical time out during his win on Sunday against Egor Gerasimov, where he received treatment on his right shoulder. Paire, who was the semi-finalists here in 2018, made light work of the Brazilian Monteiro, winning the contest 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in 1 hour 27 minutes.

KARLOVIC PROGRESSES
In the first match of the day on Centre court, Croat Ivo Karlovic beat qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5 to move to the round of 16 on Tuesday. The lanky Karlovic used his big booming serve to a great effect and maintained supremacy over his Canadian opponent in a duel that lasted for an hour 14 minutes.

The 39-year-old Karlovic, who has 8 ATP titles to his name, will be facing Russian Evgeny Donskoy for the place in the singles quarter-finals on Wednesday. Donskoy had stunned eighth seed Pablo Andujar of Spain late on Monday.

ORDER OF PLAY FOR WEDNESDAY
Centre Court: 3 pm
Ernests Gulbis (Lat) vs 2- Hyeon Chung (Kor)
Not Before 5 pm
1-Kevin Anderson (Rsa) vs Laslo Djere (Srb)
3-Gilles Simon (Fra) vs Ilya Ivashka (Blr)
Not Before 8 pm
wc-Ramkumar Ramanathan (Ind) vs 4-Malek Jaziri (Tun)

Court 1: 3 pm
Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) vs Ivo Karlovic (Cro)
Jiri Vesely (Cze) vs 5-Benoit Paire (Fra)
PR] Steve Darcis (Bel) vs Michael Mmoh (US)
After possible rest
Luke Bambridge (Gbr) and Jonny O’Mara (Gbr) vs. wc-N Sriram Balaji (Ind) and Arjun Kadhe (Ind).

Court 2: 5 pm
q-Simone Bolelli (Ita) vs 7-Jaume Munar (Esp)
Denys Molchanov (Ukr) and Igor Zelenay (Svk) vs. 4-Gerard Granollers (Esp) and Marcel Granollers (ESP)

DAY 2: RESULTS
Singles
First round: Ivo Karlovic (Cro) bt q-Felix Auger-Aliassime (Can) 6-4, 7-5; WC- Ramkumar Ramanathan (Ind) bt Marcel Granollers (Esp) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3; q-Simone Bolelli (Ita) bt Denis Istomin (Uzb) 6-4, 6-4; Ilya Ivashka (Blr) bt Hubert Hurkacz (Pol) 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 6-3; 5-Benoit Paire (Fra) bt Thiago Monteiro (Bra) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; Jiri Vesely (Cze) bt q-Antoine Hoang (Fra) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4; Laslo Djere (Srb) bt Arjun Kadhe (Ind) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)

Doubles
(Round of 16): 1- Rohan Bopanna (Ind) and Divij Sharan (Ind) bt Radu Albot (Mol) and Malek Jaziri (Tun) 6-1, 6-2; Denys Molchanov (Ukr) and Igor Zelenay (Svk) bt Pablo Andujar (Esp) and Roberto Carballes Baena (Esp) 6-1, 6-4; Leander Paes (Ind) and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (Mex) bt David Marrero (Esp) and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chi) 6-3, 6-4; Simone Bolelli (Ita) and Ivan Dodig (Cro) bt Marcelo Arevalo (Uru) and Jamie Cerretani (US) 4-6, 7-5, 10-7.

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