Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan produced a power-packed performance to advance into the doubles semi-finals at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium on Thursday.
The star Indian pair cut short the challenge of Austrian Alexander Erler and Czech Jiri Vesely in the Last-8 match with a nail-biting 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-4) victory.
Bopanna and Ramkumar, playing their second ATP event together at the fourth edition of South Asia’s only ATP 250 tournament, which is organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, pocketed the first set in the tie-breaker.
After a hard-fought opening set, the second, too, saw an intense battle as both the pairs looked aggressive in their approach and were not allowing opponents to stretch the lead as scores were locked at 5-5 before eventually the set going into the tie-breaker.
The Chennai-born Ramkumar served big to keep themselves ahead and then seasoned doubles player Bopanna struck a smashing return to make it 5-4 before serving accurately and sealing the match comfortably.
They will now meet Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul in the semi-finals. The French duo entered Last-4 with a hard-fought win against Federico Gaio and Lorenzo Musetti 4-6, 6-3, 10-2.
Another Indian pair of N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan will also be seen in the semi-finals after their opponents, Gianluca Mager and Emil Ruusuvuori withdrew from the last-eight match due to an injury to the former. The Indian duo, which entered the main draw as an alternate pair, defeated compatriots Arjun Kadhe and Purav Raja 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round played late on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Yuki Bhambri suffered a 6-3, 6-2 loss against Stefano Travaglia in the singles second round contest. The Indian gave his all to extend his return to Pune, but the World No. 93 Italian maintained his control throughout the game and secured victory as well as place in the Last-8.
The defending champion 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.