Saketh Myneni has turned out to be the surprise packet in the KPIT-MSLTA $ 50000 ATP Challenger at the tennis courts of the Mhalunge-Balewadi sports Complex. Laid low by a foot injury for a major part of the year, the 30-year-old wildcard awardee, notched 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 a plethora of errors, the two-hour match failed to rise above the mediocre,  and the tournament favourite, Kavcic, paid a heavy price for being profligate with his overall approach against a rival who once had a high ranking of 137 as against the current 907.

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

“I did know what it was (about the shoulder problem). Just got it (locked shoulder) released. It was more of pinch than pain. I have been taking it match by match. I have hardly practised for ten days," said Myneni.

"The idea was to go out, play and have some fun. I was moving today and competing. I had to play serve and volley today. I am not anywhere close to what I was. I have played three opponents with different styles. Obviously victory tastes sweet," added Myneni.

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

The No. 3 seed Yuki Bhambri was not at his best, yet he overcame Great Britain’s Jay Clarke in straight sets. Bhambri will take on Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras in the semifinal.

This challenger will give 80 ATP points to the winner, 48 to the finalist, 29 to the semi-finalists and 15 to the quarter finalists.