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Prakash Amritraj out of ATP Challenger tourney

By Staff
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Chikmagalur, Apr 19 (UNI) Top ranking Indian Prakash Amritraj was packed off by Jan Masik of Czech Republic, even as second seed Danai Udomchoke of Thailand and third seed Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei booked their berths in the quarterfinals of the 25,000 dollar ATP Challenger Championship here today.

Failing to maintain his tempo after having beaten Darko Henry Adjei of Ghana in the first round, sixth seeded Prakash went down to Masik 5-7, 1-6. His 135-minute battle went in vain as he failed to focus on the game and study the rhythm of Masik, who succeeded in his gameplan of allowing Prakash to commit many mistakes. Prakash committed as many as five double faults, enabling Masik to take the lead and win the match to enter the last eight stage.

Prakash, ranked 229 in the world, gave a tough fight in the first set, but could not manage the superb ground shots of the 22-year-old Czech, ranked 350. After conceding the first game, he not only equalled by winning the second, but also took two points lead 3-1.

Taking advantage of a double fault committed by Masik, he maintained the lead 4-2 and then 5-3, but his opponent was quick enough to recover and wrap up the set 7-5, despite committing one more double fault in the seventh game.

Thereafter Masik did not give room for the Indian Davis Cupper to recover. He took an unassailable lead 5-0 in the second set, after which only Prakash succeeded in winning his first game. Masik, who had beaten Praksah in the Features event in Abu Dhabi, won the second set and match 6-1.

In his post-match comments, Prakash said ''I could not focus much on the game, especially in the second set after Masik took five point lead. In the first set and throughout the match, my serve was not up to my level of playing.'' In another match, second seed Danai entered the last eight stage by defeating Laurent Recoudero of France in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in a battle that lasted little over one hour.

Third Seed Lu overwhelmed Adrian Cruciat of Romania in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in a 70-minute match.

Results (Pre-quarterfinals): Singles: Jan Masik (Cze) bt S6 Prakash Amritraj (Ind) 7-5, 6-1; S2 Danai Udomchoke (Tha) bt Laurent Recoudero (Fra) 6-4, 6-2; S3 Yen-Hsun Lu (Tpe) bt Adrian Cruciat (Rom) 6-3, 6-4.

Phillip King (USA) bt S5 Pavel Snobel (CZE) 6-4, 7-6.

Doubles (pre-quarter): Jesse Huta Galung (Ned)/Laurent Recouderc(Fra) bt Karan Rastogi and Ashutosh Singh (both India) 6-4, 2-6, 10-4.

UNI MSP RG SK AY RN1836

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