Bopanna survives Russian Arsenov's challenge

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Chandigarh, Apr 3 (UNI) Top-seed Indian Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna survived a Russian scare before prevailing over unseeded Danila Arsenov in three hotly-contested sets 6-7 (8), 7-6 (1), 6-3 in a quarter-final match of the 10,000 US Dollar India F5 Futures ITF Men's Circuit being played at the CLTA Stadium in Sector 10 here today.

Trailing 4-5 in the second set, Bopanna saved a match point in the 10th game before bouncing back into the game with a vengeance and went on to clinch the issue and moved into semi-final.

On his serve in the 10th game of the second set, Bopanna returned a backhand into net to trail 30-40, with Arsenov having gained a break point for the game, set and match.

For the next point, into order to kill, the Russian rushed to the net and fumbled giving a sigh of relief to Bopanna and his supporters. Bopanna unleashed a hot serve after advantage to make it 5-all.

The issue then went to the tie-breaker session which Bopanna completely dominated with his serve-and-volleybal game. The Indian Davis Cupper who is preparing for the forthcoming Davis Cup match against Japan won the tie-breaker at 7-1.

In the deciding set, Bopanna won the first three games with a break in the second.

Arsenov won the fourth, fifth and sixth games, after breaking Bopanna in the fifth game to make it 3-all. The Indian Davis Cupper then asserted his authority more and claimed the seventh, eighth and ninth games in a row to seal the fate of Arsenov.

Bopanna fired 19 aces and committed thre double faults while Arsenov recorded seven aces. The marathon match lasted 179 minutes.

Bopanna will now face his compatriot left-handed Divij Sharan in the semi-final slated for tomorrow. At the adjacent court Divij Sharan snuffed out the challenge of Roman Jebavy of Czech Republic in straight sets 7-5, 6-2.

This quarter-final match lasted one hour and 24 minutes.

From the lower half of the draw of 32, wild card Harsh Mankad stopped the great winning run of 16-year-old Australian Junior Open semi-finalist Yuki Bhambri 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes.

Mankad's opponent in the semi-final will be third seed Korean Hyun-Woo Nam who denied a clean Indian sweep in quarter-finals as he ousted Vivek Shokeen in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 23 minutes.

Third seeded Indian pair of Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja upset top seeded Vivek Shokeen and Ashutosh Singh 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-4 in the doubles semi-final match. Their opponents in the final tomorrow will be Harsh Mankad and Rupesh Roy who eliminated opposition from Yuki Bhambri and Kamala Kannan 6-3, 6-1.

Results: Singles (quarter-finals): 1-Rohan Bopanna (Ind) bt Danila Arsenov (Rus) 6-7 (8), 7-6 (1), 6-3; Divij Sharan(Ind) bt Roman Jebavy (Cze) 7-5, 6-2; 3-Hyun-Woo Nam (Korea) bt Vivek Shokeen (Ind) 6-4, 6-2; WC-Harsh Mankad (Ind) bt WC-Yuki Bhambri (Ind) 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles: Semi-finals: Harsh Mankad and Rupesh Roy (Ind) bt Yuki Bhambri and Kamala Kannan (Ind) 6-3, 6-1; 3-Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja (Ind) bt 1-Vivek Shokeen and Ashutosh Singh (Ind) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-4.

UNI XC JN JS1915

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