Pune Challenger tennis: Elias Ymer moves into final

Elias Ymer, Sweden’s No. 1, defeats Canada’s Brayden Schnur in three sets in the semifinals.

File Photo: Elias Ymer overcame a stiff opponent in Brayden Schnur to reach the final.   -  Special Arrangement

Elias Ymer achieved a personal best of reaching two finals out of his last three participated ATP Challenger tourneys when he got the better of Canada’s Brayden Schnur in three sets in the semifinals of the USD 50,000 MSLTA KPIT Challenger at the Balewadi Sports complex here on Friday.

The 22-year-old Ymer, Sweden’s No. 1 and of Ethiopian descent, overcame service double faults errors and a stiff opposition from the Canadian to win the semifinals 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Both players had encountered good opponents in the three matches ahead of the last-four stage, and the energy levels appeared to be a bit low in the semifinals. There were shorter rallies, and Schnur — who had beaten Ymer in the San Francisco Challenger early last year — was not able to put away winners in as much as he would have liked. After losing the first set, Schnur hit back though, but Ymer did not give him much leeway in the third.

‘Lot of tennis on my knee’

Reacting to his second Challenger final appearance this year — he had lost in the first round of the Bangalore ATP last week — Ymer said, “I have been playing a lot of tennis. I won the Challenger in France before flying to India (for the Bangalore and Pune ATP events). So it’s a lot of tennis on my knee. Also, a bit of over-training. But it’s the last tournament of the year.”

Tough nut: Brayden Schnur (in picture) provided Elias Ymer stern resistance. File Photo: Special Arrangement


He added: “It’s the first time it has happened for me, playing almost back to back Challenger finals. I am very happy to be playing in the final again, because I don’t think I was playing my best tennis every day this week. I was always fighting back, which was very good. I was finding a way to win every match.”

Ball ‘flying’

Explaining the conditions in France and here, Ymer said: “It was a completely different Challenger in France (Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger); there the ball was slow, I could hit it as far as I could. It was indoors. Here, because of the high altitude, I had to hit the ball smartly. The ball is flying here. I had to use the slice shot more and think more. Of course, I have done very well,[the final on Saturday] is an important match and I really want to win it.”

The Swede is doubtful of making the main draw of the Australian Open next month. Even if I win [on Saturday], I would miss the direct entry of the Australian Open by a few spots; and so I have to play the qualifiers.”

Result (Semifinals)
  • Elias Ymer (Swe) bt Brayden Schnur (Can) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Result (doubles semifinals)
  • Ramkumar Ramanathan and N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Andrej Martin (Slovakia) and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chile) 7-6 (7), 6-0;
  • Tsung Hua Yang (Chn) and Chang Peng Hsieh (Chn) bt Max Purcell (Aus) and Luke Saville (Aus) 6- 7 (4), 6-3, 10-6.

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