Balaji-Vishnu progress in Samarkand Challenger

Top seeds Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan reached the semifinal of the Samarkand Challenger with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the duo of Teymuraz Gabashvili and Nikola Milojevic.

Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan will play fourth seeds Timur Khabibulin of Kazakhstan and Vladyslav Manafov in the semis. (File Photo)   -  R. Ragu

Top seeds Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan made the doubles semifinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia and Nikola Milojevic of Serbia in the $75,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Friday.

In the semifinals, the Indian pair will play fourth seeds Timur Khabibulin of Kazakhstan and Vladyslav Manafov of Ukraine.

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The other Indian pair of Saketh Myneni and Vijay Sundar Prashanth, seeded third, was beaten 7-5, 3-6, 10-8 by Mikhail Elgin of Russia and Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals.

In the $25,000 ITF women’s event in China, Rutuja Bhosale made the singles semifinals with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Fatma Al Nabhani of Oman.

National champion Riya Bhatia won the doubles title in partnership with Madeleine Kobelt of the US in the $15,000 ITF women’s event in Israel.

It was the second doubles title for the 20-year-old Riya who has two singles titles in the professional circuit. Interestingly, all her four trophies have come in four different countries, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Djibouti and Israel.

The results:

$75,000 Challenger men, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Doubles (quarterfinals): Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Teymuraz Gabashvili (Rus) & Nikola Milojevic (Srb) 6-3, 6-4; Mikhail Elgin (Rus) & Denis Istomin (Uzb) bt Saketh Myneni & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 7-5, 3-6, [10-8].

Pre-quarterfinals: Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Sergey Betov & Yaraslav Shyla (Blr) 7-6(2), 6-4; Saketh Myneni & Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Marek Gengel (Cze) & Tristan Lamasine (Fra) 6-4, 6-4.

$25,000 ITF women, Wuhan, China
Singles (quarterfinals): Rutuja Bhosale bt Fatma Al Nabhani (Oma) 7-5, 6-2.

$15,000 ITF women, Tiberias, Israel
Doubles (final): Madeleine Kobelt (US) & Riya Bhatia bt Shavit Kimchi & Maya Tahan (Isr) 6-3, 6-2.