Divij advances, Prajnesh makes a good start

Davis Cupper Prajnesh Gunneswaran overcame a tough start to tame Thomas Fabbiano of Italy, who had beaten him in the final last week in the $150,000 Challenger.

(File Photo) Prajnesh Gunneswaran beat Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in $50,000 Liuzhou Challenger.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Wimbledon quarterfinalist Divij Sharan, in partnership with Artem Sitak of New Zealand, saved two matchpoints to beat Marc-Andrea Huesler of Switzerland and Sem Verbeek of the Netherlands 1-6, 7-6 (8), 10-5 in the doubles quarterfinals of the Swiss Open ATP 500 tennis tournament in Switzerland on Friday.

‘’We just fought really hard’’, said Divij, who had won the Asian Games gold with Rohan Bopanna.

‘’They won 10 points more than us. But, that is doubles’’, he observed.

In the semifinals, Divij and partner will play the Zverev brothers from Germany, Alexander and Mischa.

Multiple Grand Slam champion, Leander Paes continued to grind in the Challenger circuit, and made the doubles final with Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela of Mexico in France.

The second seeded Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in partnership with Austin Krajicek of the US, however, was beaten in the semifinals.

Good start for Prajnesh

Davis Cupper Prajnesh Gunneswaran overcame a tough start to tame Thomas Fabbiano of Italy, who had beaten him in the final last week in the $150,000 Challenger.

It was a creditable victory for the 146th ranked Prajnesh over the 106th ranked Fabbiano.

Coach M. Balachandran who has accompanied Prajnesh in China, was particularly pleased with the manner in which Prajnesh closed out the match.

‘’Prajnesh hit four big serves in the last game. Only one return came back and he smashed a forehand winner. I have not seen Prajnesh dictate points this well’’, observed Balachandran.

In the semifinals, seventh seeded Prajnesh will face the top seed Radu Albot of Moldova.

In the doubles semifinals, fourth seeds Sriram Balaji and Saketh Myneni were beaten by the Chinese second seeds Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang 10-5 in the super tie-break.

In the $25,000 ITF women’s event in China, Karman Kaur Thandi made the semifinals by beating her doubles partner and third seed Katie Swan of Britain.

In the $15,000 women’s event in Egypt, qualifier Vaidehi Chaudhari reached the semifinals by beating third seed Linnea Malmqvist of Sweden in straight sets.

The results:

€ 2,442,740 ATP 500, Basel, Switzerland: Doubles (quarterfinals): Artem Sitak (Nzl) & Divij Sharan bt Marc-Andrea Huesler (Sui) & Sem Verbeek (Ned) 1-6, 7-6(8), [10-5].

€ 106,000 Challenger men, Brest, France: Doubles (semifinals): Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela (Mex) & Leander Paes bt Simone Bolelli & Daniele Bracciali (Ita) 7-5, 7-6(5); Sander Gille & Joran Vliegen (Bel) bt Austin Krajicek (US) & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-2, 6-4.

$50,000 Challenger men, Liuzhou, China: Singles (quarterfinals): Prajnesh Gunneswaran bt Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3. Doubles (semifinals): Mao-Xin Gong & Ze Zhang (Chn) bt Sriram Balaji & Saketh Myneni 5-7, 6-0, [10-5].

$25,000 ITF women, Nanning, China: Singles (quarterfinals): Karman Kaur Thandi bt Katie Swan (GBR) 6-3, 7-6(4). Doubles (semifinals): Na Ri Kim (Kor) & Qu Yu Ye (Chn) w.o. Katie Swan (GBR) & Karman Kaur Thandi.

$15,000 ITF women, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Singles (quarterfinals): Vaidehi Chaudhari bt Linnea Malmqvist (Swe) 7-6(2), 6-3.

$15,000 ITF women, Monastir, Tunisia: Doubles (quarterfinals): Chiraz Bechri (Tun) & merel Hoedt (Ned) bt Sabrina Rittberger (Ger) & Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy 6-3, 6-3.