Sweden’s Elias Ymer stunned top-seed and World No. 15 Aslan Karatsev of Russia in straight sets to storm into the quarterfinal of the Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Thursday.
Ymer handed Karatsev a shocking 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) defeat in the their second round match that lasted for one hour and 36 minutes.
Ymer, who came through the qualifiers, started the game well and took an early 3-1 lead against Karatsev, who struggled to find his rhythm in his first match at the tournament.
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The 25-year-old Swede comfortably won the opening set with 76 per cent of service points won, compared to Karatsev’s 47 per cent.
Karatsev, who beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on his home court to enter the Serbia Open final last year, tried to forge a comeback but Ymer showed phenomenal reflexes and resisted well with some powerful shots to level the scores at 4-4 in the second set.
Ymer then held his serves and forced Karatsev, the first player in an Open Era to reach the Grand Slam semi-final on debut at 2021 Australian Open, to a tie-break.
World No. 163 Ymer started strongly in the tie-breaker by racing to a 3-0 lead and then maintained his fine touch to complete a sensational victory and sent Karatsev packing.
“I was more focussed on my serves. When you serve well, you always win matches. I think the serve was the key,” Ymer said.
“He (Elias) played well. I didn’t start the match well and tried to find a solution in the second set to get back into the game,” Karatsev said.
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Meanwhile, defending champion Jiri Vesely, who received opening-round bye, started his campaign with a confident 6-3, 6-4 win against Bernabe Zapata Miralles. Sixth-seeded Emil Ruusuvuori also had an easy outing against qualifier Vit Kopriva, securing a 6-3, 6-3 victory during a lopsided last-16 contest.
Earlier in the doubles match played late on Wednesday night, N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan defeated compatriots Arjun Kadhe and Purav Raja 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round. The Indian duo of Balaji and Vardhan, which made it into the main draw as an alternate pair, has now entered into the semifinal as their opponents Gianluca Mager and Emil Ruusuvuori withdrew from the last-eight match due to an injury to the former.