Bengaluru Open: Paes-Ebden into finals, to take on Raja-Ramkumar

Paes and Ebden were not at their best, but managed to keep their cool in the match tiebreaker. They wil face Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanthan in the final.

Leander Paes of India and Matthew Ebden of Australia jubilant after their win in the semifinals.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden kept their run going with a scrapp 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 win over Jonathan Erlich-Andrei Vasilevski in the doubles semifinal of the $1,62,000 Bengaluru Open ATP Tennis Challenger here on Friday.

Paes and Ebden were not at their best, but managed to keep their cool in the match tiebreaker to sneak through. It was Ebden who kicked into top
gear first in the tiebreaker, making a reflex volley to get the pair level at 2-2. Paes then made a brilliant chipped backhand service-return winner to get a 6-5 lead. A couple of awkward kick serves from Paes closed the show in grand style.

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Paes-Ebden will face the Indian pair of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the final. Raja-Ramanathan reached the summit clash after Saketh Myneni and Matt Reid were forced to retire due to an injury to Reid.

In the opening game of the second set, Reid sprinted back to retrieve a lob and landed on his knee. The Australian sought medical help in an attempt to continue playing, but was unable to sufficiently recover.

In the singles quarterfinal, Italian Julian Ocleppo edged out 13th seed Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4 in a grueling outing which lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes. Ocleppo was down 2-5 in the first set, before making a terrific comeback to wrap it up 7-6(4). Neither player gave an inch, and it went down to the wire. Ocleppo, the WorldNo. 231, will take on gritty Australian James Duckworth in the semifinal on Saturday. Fourth-seed Duckworth, in great form in recent months, knocked out ninth-seed Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2 in another last-eight match.

Unseeded Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi upset third-seed Yuichi Sugita of
Japan 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, while Stefano Travaglia took out fluent Slovenian southpaw Blaz Rola 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

The results

Singles (quarterfinals):
Julian Ocleppo (Ita) bt Ilya Ivashka (Blr) 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4; James
Duckworth (Aus) bt Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2; Stefano
Travaglia (Ita) bt Blaz Rola (Slo) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Benjamin Bonzi (Fra)
bt Yuichi Sugita (Jpn) 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4.

Doubles (semifinals):
Matthew Ebden (Aus)/Leander Paes (Ind) bt Jonathan Erlich (Isr)/
Andrei Vasilevski (Blr)  6-4, 3-6, 10-7; Purav Raja (Ind)/Ramkumar
Ramanathan (Ind) bt Saketh Myneni (Ind)/ Matt Reid (Aus) 7-5, 0-0

Saturday matches:

Singles semifinal (2 p.m. onwards):

Julian Ocleppo vs James Duckworth; Benjamin Bonzi vs Stefano Travaglia.

Doubles final (6.30 p.m. onwards):

Paes/Ebden v Raja/Ramanathan

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