PMR Open ATP Challenger: Serbian Zekic ousts top-seeded Duckworth; two Indian pairs in doubles semis
Unheralded Serbian Miljan Zekic upset top seed James Duckworth of Australia 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2) in a 2-hour 11-minute battle to enter the quarterfinals of the Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR) Open ATP challenger Men's 100 tennis championships here on Thursday.
In the quarterfinals Zekic will take on Harold Mayot of France, third-seeded Max Purcell continued his fine run on the Indian swing of the ATP Challengers with a facile 6-2, 6-4 win over Bulgaria's Dimitar Kuzmanov and reached his third quarterfinals on a trot. Purcell will take on fifth-seeded Francesco Maestralli of Italy who came back from down a match point to scrape past a fighting Australian Dane Sweeny and win 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5 in the longest match of the day lasting 3hrs and 16 mins
In the best match of the day, fifth-seeded Italian Francesco Maestrelli, saved the day for himself, winning again in three sets, with a 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5 win over a fighting Aussie Dane Sweeny. Serving for the match leading 6-5in the third set Maestrelli started with a fault serve before Sweeny won the next point to bring the game to the level. Sweeny nonetheless gave a fright to the Italian as he went 40-30 up. Maestrelli, however, saved the breakpoint against him to survive.
In the Duckworth-Zekic match, Duckworth led 5-4 and 6-5 before Zekic levelled scores and paced out the tiebreak. Indian Players continued to dominate the doubles event of the tournament with Anirudh Chandrasekar-N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth, Mukund Sasikumar, and Vishnu Vardhan made it to the semis with one match between Indians yet to go on court Japanese Toshihide Matsui and Kaito Uesugi of Japan were the only foreigners to make it to the last four.
Singles (second round) Miljan Zekic (SRB, 241) bt 1-James Duckworth (AUS, 128) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2); 5-Francesco Maestrelli (ITA, 178) bt Dane Sweeny (AUS, 249) 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5; 3-Max Purcell (AUS, 155) bt Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL, 204) 6-2, 6-4; Harold Mayot (FRA,265) bt Maximilian Neuchrist (AUT,255) 6-4(RET)
Doubles (QF): Anirudh Chandrasekar/N Vijay Sundar Prashanth (IND) bt 4-Petr Nouza(CZE)/Purav Raja (IND) 6-2, 6-2; 5-Toshihide Matsui/Kaito Uesugi(JPN) bt Boris Butulija (SRB)/Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 7-5, 6-4; Mukund Sasikumar (IND)/Vishnu Vardhan (IND) bt Calum Puttergill (AUS)/Dane Sweeny (AUS) 6-2, 6-3.
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