India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan stunned French Open 2017 semi-finalist Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-2 at the Antalya Open in Turkey on Tuesday for the biggest win of his career. In a match that lasted just a minute under an hour, Ramanathan managed to clinch 10 aces to Thiem’s four. Ramanathan is ranked 222 in the ATP rankings while Thiem is no. 8.
Ramanathan was dominant in the first set and sailed to a 6-3 win. He wasted three break points in the second set before breaking the world no. 8 in the fifth game. “I worked really hard for this,” he said after the match, “Thank you to the crowd for coming out and cheering. I like the grass. Courts are fast. I took my chances and it worked out. I’m having a great time here and thanks to all the organisers.” Ramanathan will now face 79th-ranked Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in the quarter finals. It is his best result since reaching the quarter finals of the Chennai Open last year.
Ramanathan had entered the tournament through the qualifiers, as opposed to Thiem who was the top seed. Ramanathan had earlier defeated the 68-ranked Brazilian Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-4 in the first round and has followed that up with the win over Thiem. It also means that the Indian is yet to drop a set in the tournament.
Thiem had been in hot run of form as he reached the semi-finals of the French Open after beating defending champion Novak Djokovic. He lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal at that stage but was the favourite to win the title at Antalya. Ramanathan’s win is a rare occurrence of an Indian beating a player ranked in the top 10 of the ATP rankings. Somdev Devvarman had beaten then world no. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro in 2014 but that was after the Argentine had retired from the match.