China Challenger: Sriram Balaji in final

Sriram Balaji, in partnership with Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico, toppled the No.1 seeds Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Christopher Rungkat 6-4, 6-3.

Sriram Balaji. (File Photo)   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Sriram Balaji, in partnership with Hans Hach Verdugo of Mexico, toppled the No.1 seeds Cheng-Peng Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia 6-4, 6-3 in the doubles semifinals of the $54,160 Challenger tennis tournament in Zhangjjiagang, China, on Friday.

The Taipei-Indonesian pair had earlier beaten Vishnu Vardhan and his partner Luca Margaroli of Switzerland in the quarterfinals.

As a pair, Balaji and Vishnu were knocking on the Grand Slam stage, and had won one round in Wimbledon last year. However, since Vishnu was very selective about competing in tournaments this season, owing to family commitments, Balaji had to find different partners to be regular on the circuit. 

In the ITF men’s Futures event in Egypt, SD Prajwal Dev and Adil Kalyanpur set up a title clash in the doubles, against Igor Sijsling and Botic Van De Zandschulp of the Netherlands.

The results

$54,160 Challenger, Zhangjiagang, China
Doubles (semifinals): Hans Hach Verdugo (Mex) & Sriram Balaji bt Cheng-Peng Hsieh (Tpe) & Christopher Rungkat (Ina) 6-4, 6-3. Quarterfinals: Cheng-Peng Hsieh (Tpe) & Christopher Rungkat (Ina) bt Luca Margaroli (Sui) & Vishnu Vardhan 4-6, 6-1, [10-6]; Hans Hack Verdugo & Sriram Balaji bt Hua Runhao & Zhang Zhizhen (Chn) 3-6, 7-6(4), [10-5].

$25,000 ITF women, Kofu, Japan
Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Momoko Kobori (Jpn) bt Ankita Raina 7-6(3), 6-4. Doubles (quarterfinals): Kai-Chen Chang & Ching-Wen Hsu (Tpe) bt Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) 6-2, 6-2.

$15,000 ITF men, Mornington, Australia
Singles (quarterfinals): Luca Castelnuovo (Sui) bt Karunuday Singh 7-6(5), 7-6(3); Pre quarterfinals: Karunuday Singh bt Lucas Vuradin (Aus) 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-3; Doubles (semifinals): Calum Puttergill & Brandon Walkin (Aus) bt Aaron Addison (Aus) & Karunuday Singh 6-4, 6-4; Quarterfinals: Aaron Addison & Karunuday Singh bt Kazuma Kawachi & Naoki Takeda (Jpn) 6-1, 3-6, [10-8].

$15,000 ITF men, Manama, Bahrain
Doubles (semifinals): Alexander Igoshin (Rus) & Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Mats Rosenkranz & Niklas Schell (Ger) 6-4, 7-6(7).

$15,000 ITF men, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Doubles (semifinals):
SD Prajwal Dev & Adil Kalyanpur bt Robert Strombachs & Kai Wehnelt (Ger) 6-2, 6-3; Igor Sijsling & Botic Van De Zandschulp (Ned) bt Giovvani Samaha (Lbn) & Aryan Goveas 2-6, 6-4, [10-7]. Quarterfinals: SD Prajwal Dev & Adil Kalyanpur bt Kai Lemstra (GEr) & Stefan Palosi (Rou) 4-6, 6-4, [10-6]; Giovani Samaha & Aryan Goveas bt Pavel Shumeiko (Ukr) & Davide Tortora (Ita) 6-1, 6-2.

$15,000 ITF women, Xiamen, China
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Shanshan Guo & Mei Xu Wu (Chn) bt Michiru Furuya (Jpn) & Ashmitha Easwaramurthi 6-2, 6-0.