Bengaluru, Feb 17: Wildcard entrants Arjun Kadhe and Sidharth Rawat went down fighting in the second round of the Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger that also signaled the end of India’s challenge in the singles event at the KSLTA Courts here on Thursday. While Kadhe lost to third seed Enzo Couacaud of France 6-7 (7), 5-7, Rawat failed against Swiss Antoine Bellier to go down 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
However, two Indian pairs entered the semifinals in the doubles event. While Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan took a step closer to defending their title they won last week after getting past the Ukraine-German pair of Vladyslav Orlov and Kai Wehnelt 6-4, 7-6 (3), N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan combined well to overcome the duo of Markos Kalovelonis of Great Britain and Japanese Toshihide Matsui 6-3, 4-6, 11-9. Kadhe compensated his singles loss by pairing up with Alexander Erler of Austria and defeated the Indian duo of SD Prajwal Dev and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 to make it to the last four.
In the singles encounter, Kadhe did not show any kind of jitters in his match against the seeded Enzo. Despite being broken in the opening game and the fifth game to trail 1-4, he fought back by breaking Enzo’s serve in the 6th and 10th games to restore parity. As the issue was being settled via a tie-break, Kadhe, with just a point to win the set at 6-2, squandered away the opportunity losing the tie-break 7-9, thanks to his own mistakes that gave the visitor an edge.
The second set saw both the players holding their serves until the fifth game before they broke each other for the next four games. Despite the 11 double faults by Enzo against 4 by Kadhe, the latter could not take advantage of his opponent’s mistakes as he was broken once again in the 12th game to lose the set and the match.
Rawat meanwhile traded blow for blow in his pre-quarterfinal bout against Bellier until the 10th game where he made two double faults to lose serve and the set. The Indian played some flawless tennis in the second set, which he won with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games. The final set was an exact replica of the opening set, only this time, Bellier was brilliant with his ground strokes and broke Rawat’s serve in the 10th game to grab a spot in the quarterfinals.
Results Singles (Round of 16)
Johan Nikles (SUI) bt Q-Markos Kalovelonis (GRE) 6-2, 6-3; 3-Enzo Couacaud (FRA) bt WC-Arjun Kadhe (IND) 7-6 (7), 7-5; Q-Antoine Bellier (SUI) bt WC-Sidharth Rawat (IND) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Borna Gojo (CRO) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) 6-4, 6-1.
3-Saketh Myneni (IND)/Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) bt Vladyslav Orlov (UKR)/Kai Wehnelt (GER) 6-4, 7-6 (3); Enzo Coucaud (FRA)/Andrew Harris (AUS) bt 2-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND)/Purav Raja 3-6, 6-2, 13-11; 4-N Sriram Balaji/Vishnu Vardhan bt Markos Kalovelonis (GRE)/Toshihide Matsui (JPN) 6-3, 4-6, 11-9; 1-Alexander Erler (AUT)/Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt WC-SD Prajwal Dev (IND)/Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) 6-1, 3-6, 10-6.