News - Match - Player
Bangalore, 23 November, 2017
Nagal stuns top seed to storm into semifinals at Bengaluru Open
Bangalore, Nov 23: Sumit Nagal, ranked 219 places below the Slovanian Blaz Kavcic, could not have
justified his last minute entry into the main draw from being awarded a wild card in a better manner
than to show the top seed the door in the quarterfinals of the US $ 100,000 Bengaluru Open 2017, an
event on the ATP Challenger Tour being held at the KSLTA Courts here on Thursday.
The Delhi-ite took just 76 minutes to emerge as a 6-3, 6-4 winner and will now meet compatriot Yuki
Bhambri in the semifinals. Bhambri, seeded third, took one more step closer in his attempt to register a
back to back victory, quelling the challenge of Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 to advance
to the last four stage.
In the other quarterfinals, Tsung-Hua Yang of Teipei stopped the progress of lucky loser Antoine
Escoffier 6-4, 6-4 while Jay Clarke of Great Britain overcame Ante Pavic of Croatia 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (1). The
respective winners will face off in the second semifinal.
Nagal who took on the top seed didn’t have any expectations out of the match. “I wasn’t thinking
anything before the match. I just wanted to play some good tennis,” said the 20-year- old who has never
reached the quarterfinal stage of the many Challenger events he has played thus far. After both the
players held on their respective serves, Nagal achieved the crucial break in the fourth game to go 3-1 up
from where he didn’t look back and took the first set 6-3.
Nagal was quick on the court as Kavcic depended heavily on his serves. After both the players had
broken each other in the first two games, the former broke again in the third game, thanks to a double
fault by Kavcic and went 2-1 up. Both the players held their respective serves as the diminutive player
clinched the set and match 6-4. “I have never played Bhambri before and I guess it will be a good
match,” said Nagal ahead of his semifinal clash.
In the other match which oozed of power, Bhambri and Gunneswaran went hammer and tongs from the
word go while holding on to their respective serves until the 10 th game. Gunneswaran was the fiercer of
the two sending down seven aces in the first set. Bhambri had to pull out all his experience to counter
the attack and managed to achieve a break in the 11 th game. Serving for the set, the Delhi lad was two
break points down and came back to win the set. “It was crucial for me to win those points as anything
could have happened in the tie-breaker,” said Bhambri after the game.
In the second set, Bhambri seemed to be in much better control as he broke the Chennai based player’s
serve in the first game and was answered in a similar manner in the second. The trend continued until
the third before Bhambri held on and broke once again in the fifth to take the set and the match. “It
does not matter whom I play in the semifinal as I have planned to take game by game,” said the winner.
Meanwhile in the doubles semifinals the top seeded pair of Mikhail Elgin of Russia and Indian Divij
Sharan overcame the third seeds M Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 to reach the final
where they will meet Ivan Sabanov and Matej Sabanov of Croatia, who were 7-6 (3), 6-4 winners over
Bosnian Tomislav Brkic and Croatian Ante Pavic.
Results (Prefix indicates seeding)
1-Blaz Kavcic (SLO) lost to Sumit Nagal (IND) 3-6, 4-6
3-Yuki Bhambri (IND) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 7-5, 6-2
LL-Antoine Escoffier (FRA) lost to Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE) 4-6, 4-6
Jay Clarke (GBR) bt Ante Pavic (CRO) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (1)
Ivan Sabanov / Matej Sabanov (CRO) bt Tomislav Brkic (BIH) / Ante Pavic (CRO) 7-6 (3), 6-4
1-Mikhail Elgin (RUS) / Divij Sharan (IND) bt 3-M Sriram Balaji (IND) / Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 6-4, 4-6, 10-8
Semifinal line-up singles
Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE) Vs. Jay Clarke (GBR)
3-Yuki Bhambri (IND) Vs. Sumit Nagal (IND)
1-Mikhail Elgin (RUS) / Divij Sharan (IND) Vs. Ivan Sabanov / Matej Sabanov (CRO) bt Tomislav Brkic (BIH)
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