Top seed upset in Sail Open Challenger

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New Delhi, Dec 5: On a injuries plagued day top seed Kristian Pless and sixth seed Rohan Bopanna had to bow out of the reckoning, the Indian challenge was left in the hands of former national champion Sunil Kumar Sipaeya who moved into the quarter finals in the second round match of the USD 50,000 SAIL Open Challenger tennis tournament here today.

In the second round match Sunil was leading 6-4, 1-6, 4-2 against compatriot Bopanna when the latter decided to quit due to back strain.

Qualifier I Marchenko of Ukrain also made it to the last eight when his opponent, top ranked Kristian Pless (Denmark) pulled out because of the ankle injury. At that stage Marchenk was leading 6-3, 1-0.

In other matches, Czech Republic's Tomas Cakl created an upset when he ousted fourth seeded Adrian Menendez (Spain) 6-2, 6-2, while Alberto Francis (USA) beat seventh seed Joshua Goodall (Britain) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

France's Sebastian De Chaunac staged a superb comeback to overpower Russia's Pavel Chekhov 4-6 7-6 (11/9) 7-5 in a long drawn encounter.

Sunil now faces title contender and second second seed Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi (Pakistan) in the quarter final.

Intrestingly, the Pakistani,last week's Challenger winner, got a walkover into the last eight from Dieter Kindlmann (Germany) who did not take the field as he was down with viral fever.

Bopanna found going tough against Sunil as he lost the first set but pulled himself back in the contention by winning the second. The sixth seed was trailing (4-2) when he complained of back strain and retired.

The 24-year-old Sunil was in a good form displayed fine strokeplay from the baseline.

Sunil broke his rival in the seventh game of the first set to take it 6-4.

Bopanna then sought medical assistance for his back at the start of the second set and it looked to have have worked as he broke Sunil twice to take a 5-1 lead before winning the set to draw parity.

The Indian Davis cupper was pain in third set as he was unable to cope with his strained back back and by the time Sunil had broken him to be 3-0 up.

Though Bopanna managed to hold on to his next two serves,he decided to call it quits from the match.

Eighth seed Ivan Sergeyev (Ukraine) waged a grim battle before overcoming Russian Dmitry Vlasov 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 while Russia's M Elgin's overcame Isreal's D Valtzer 7-6(3), 6-2.

UNI

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