Bopanna survives Russian challenge; moves to semis

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Chandigarh, Apr 3 (UNI) Top seed Rohan Bopanna survived a Russian scare before prevailing over unseeded Danila Arsenov in three evenly contested sets 6-7(8), 7-6(1), 6-3 in a quarter-final match of the 10,000 dollars India F5 Futures ITF Men's Circuit being played at the CLTA Stadium 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 game 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 game, set and match.

For the next point, 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 five all.

The issue then went to the tie-breaker session which Bopanna completely dominated with his serve-and-volley game.

The Indian Davis Cupper who is preparing for the forthcoming Davis Cup tie against Japan won the tie-breaker 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 three all.

The Indian 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 three double faults while Arsenov recorded seven aces. The marathon match lasted 179 minutes.

Bopanna will now face his colleague 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 the 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 tomorrow's final will be Harsh Mankad and Rupesh Roy who eliminated 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 RAR PM1930

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