Saketh Myneni, playing his tenth singles match of the year, became the first Indian to advance to the quarterfinals of the KPIT-MSLTA $50,000 ATP Challenger at the Mhalunge- Balewadi tennis complex on Wednesday.

It took the tall Indian nearly one and half hours to douse the firepower of Serbian No. 8 seed Pedja Krstin 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. The Serbian’s game went to pieces in the second and deciding sets. 

Returning to Centre Court less than 24 hours after his magnificent first-round win against Marc Polmans on Tuesday, Ramkumar Ramanathan secured a splendid win against Great Britain’s Brydan Klein 7-6(7), 6-3 in one hour and 35 minutes.

India’s top-notch player Yuki Bhambri quietly repelled big-serving Croatian Ante Pavcic 6-4, 7-6 (4) in 86 minutes.  Sumit Nagal, who lost his temper disputing a line call, went down to Spaniard Adrian Menendez-Maceiras in straight sets. 

Sriram Balaji squandered four match points and lost to Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesov. 

When action resumed at the Centre Court at noon, all eyes were on the 30-year-old Myneni. He, however, didn't have an ideal start. After being two breakpoints down, he pulled back to win the first game.

Quite erratic with his shots, Myneni gave the first set advantage to his opponent.  Things changed for the better when he fired an ace to win the first game of the second set at love. Good selection of shots to go with his effective serves enabled Myneni to take charge of the match.

After winning the second set, Myneni capitalised on his opponent’s mistakes, including a sequence of double faults. He sent down four aces in the fifth game of the decider and clinched another break to finish the match in emphatic style.   It was Myneni’s second win against the Serbian. He had lost the first scrap between them at Turkey in 2015, but beat him in the qualifying round of the 2016 US Open. 

Bhambri, looking languid throughout his match, opened up an early break to win the first set, but found Pavic to be a tough customer in the second. He recovered from 0-3 deficit to clinch the second set tie-breaker.