India’s top two singles players, Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri on Wednesday headed towards a possible semifinal clash in the $50,000 ATP Challenger event after beating their respective rivals in contrasting fashion, here.
Top seed Somdev came back from a set down New Zealand’s Michael Venus 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-3 in almost three-hour pre-quarterfinal contest. The tall and well built Venus unleashed whipping forehands from both flanks while Somdev stoutly held in his characteristic way. An energetic display of aggressive volleying coupled with strong serve in the tiebreaker sealed the first set in the Kiwi’s favor.
But Venus who had played three rounds of qualifying and a three-set match earlier was exhausted and Somdev ran away with the second set 6-0 and took an upper hand in the third right away.
Venus did try valiantly to catch up but Somdev served effectively including aces to save the breakpoints. Seventh seeded Yuki made short work of Gerrard Granollers 6-2, 6-1 in quick time. Somdev now faces Spain’s Jordi Samper-Montana in the quarter-finals while Yuki will clash with Frenchman Lucas Pouille in his last-eight stage match.
In the bottom half of the draw, wild card Saketh Myneni and qualifier Sanam Singh also got closer to a semifinal face off. Myneni, who made his Davis Cup debut last week, served and stroked fluently to put out the eighth seed Italian Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 6-2.
Sanam edged past compatriot and wild card N Sriram Balaji 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(1) in a grueling second-round contest. Balaji served and returned well consistently after being routed in the opening set. The third set was a cliffhanger, decided via tie-breaker.