Bengaluru Open 2024: Ramkumar Ramanathan stuns top seed Luca Nardi to enter quarterfinals

Ramkumar Ramanathan defeats top seed Luca Nardi to advance to the singles quarterfinals of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger.

Published : Feb 14, 2024 20:05 IST , BENGALURU - 2 MINS READ

Ramkumar Ramanathan of India stunned Luca Nardi of Italy.
Ramkumar Ramanathan of India stunned Luca Nardi of Italy. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Ramkumar Ramanathan of India stunned Luca Nardi of Italy. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan sent top seed Luca Nardi packing 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 to enter the singles quarterfinal of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger at the KSLTA courts inside Cubbon Park here on Wednesday.

Nardi played a splendid first set, replete with aggressive returns and short-angled winners. The World No. 108 landed 86% of his first serves, won 92% of those points and didn’t face a single break-point.

But the weather — a sweltering 33°C courtside at noon — soon brought the players closer. Nardi, who had reached the final in Chennai last week and had also played a long three-setter on Tuesday, struggled even as Ramkumar’s superior energy levels and a steady exhibition of tennis carried the day.

Ramkumar’s purple patch began with his first authoritative hold of the afternoon - to 2-2 in the second set. In the next game, he cut through as Nardi’s serve wobbled, and the Italian double-faulted on break-point. The 29-year-old Indian took care of his serve well to level the contest.

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Nardi’s service game picked up steam in the third set, and the gulf in class between the highly rated 20-year-old and Ramkumar started showing again. But the latter displayed superior staying power as he ran down every single ball and forced Nardi to go the extra mile.

The point that probably sapped Nardi’s spirit was the easy smash from the forecourt he sent long to get broken in the fifth game. The end seemed nigh, and Ramkumar soon had his second consecutive Challenger main draw singles match win, a first since November 2022 (Kobe, Japan).

Other results (Indians unless specified):

Singles: Second round: Seong Chan Hong (Kor) bt Alexey Zakharov 6-4, 7-5; Oriol Roca Batalla (Spa) bt Tristan Boyer (USA) 7-5, 6-3; Maks Kasnikowski (Pol) bt Benjamin Bonzi (Fra) 6-3, 6-4; First round: Stefano Napolitano (Ita) bt Dane Sweeny (Aus) 6-3, 6-3; Adam Walton (Aus) bt S.D. Prajwal Dev 6-3, 6-0.

Doubles: First round: Myneni & Ramkumar bt Banthia & Prajwal Dev 6-0, 7-6(2); Echargui (Tun) & Roca Batalla (Spa) bt Bollipalli & Poonacha 6-4, 6-4.

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