Bopanna-Aisam storm into sixth ATP Challenger final of the year

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi are on course to their fifth ATP Challenger title in five months with a hard-fought 7-6(10), 7-6(4) win over Benjamin Balleret and Sebastien de Chaunac in the semi-finals here today.

Seeded second in the tournament, the Indo-Pakistani duo had to dig deep and utilise the understanding developed from their four-year-old combination in a match which saw them being tasted to the hilt by their opponents.

The opposition pair from Monaco and France gave Bopanna and Aisam a tough time and the Europeans could have won the tie-breaker in the first set but for some unforced errors.

The second set also was stretched to the tie-breaker though this time the Indo-Pak pair won it much easier than in the earlier set.

In the title round, Bopanna and Aisam will take on top seeded South African pair of Wesley Moodie and Rik de Voest who escaped with a 6-7(4), 6-4, 16-14 win over Russian duo of Pavel Chekhov and Michail Elgin in a marathon semi-final match.

Bopanna and Aisam will be playing tomorrow in their sixth ATP Challneger final in five months.

For Aisam, it was double delight as he also scored an upset 6-2, 6-3 victory over top seed Ivo Minar of Czech Republic in the singles quarter-finals.

In the last four round, Aisam, seeded sixth, will play against eighth seed Adrain Cruciat of Romania who also upset fourth seeded South African Rik De Voist 7-6(3), 6-1 today.

The other semi-final will be between Martin Slanar of Austria and Jae Sung An of Korea.

UNI

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