With all the four top seeds making it to the last four stage of the ITF Dharwad Men’s World Tennis Tour it was but natural to expect some high-quality tennis action. All the semi-finalists lived up to the hype showcasing an incredible display of skill and determination on both sides of the net.
In a thrilling semifinal encounters of the US $25,000 prize money event, fourth seed Ramkumar Ramanathan of India produced a remarkable comeback to defeat top seed Nick Chappell of the United States 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) while country mate and third seed Digvijay Pratap Singh dropped a set but rallied to win against second seed Bobrov Bogdan 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4.
Meanwhile, the third seeded pair of SD Prajwal Dev and Nitin Kumar Sinha took home the doubles honours. In a almost one-sided final, Prajwal and Nitin ended the dream run of the unseeded team of Sai Karteek Ganta and Manish Sureshkumar with a 6-4, 6-3 victory. The winners were richer by US $1500 while the runners-up pocketed US $900.
The crowd at the Dharwad District Lawn Tennis Association was treated to a thrilling contest as the 28-year-old Ramkumar faced Chappell in the first semifinal. The first set saw top seed Nick Chappell assert his dominance after racing to a 4-1 lead with a break in the third game before wrapping up the set at 6-3. Chappell’s powerful serves and relentless baseline play had the Indian Davis Cupper on the back foot. However in the second set, Ramanathan fought back with vengeance accompanied by loud grunts and support of the crowd. A break in the fourth game was enough for Ramkumar to grab the second set 6-3.
The most heart-pounding moments came in the third set when Ramkumar found himself down 2-5. However, summoning his inner strength and resilience, the silver medallist at the recent Asian Games mounted an extraordinary comeback and took the deciding set into tie-breaker which he won easily 7-2. The moment his opponent’s ball went wide, he turned to the crowd and acknowledged their support.
In the other semifinal, Digvijay after having wrapped up the first set 6-4 with a break in the very first game, was serving for the match at 5-4, 30-0 up. With two unforced errors by Digvijay and some good slices by Bogdan, the set headed for a tie-break which the visitor won 7-2. The final set saw a late fightback by Bogdan but the damage had already been done.
- (4)Ramkumar Ramanathan bt (1)Nick Chappell (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2)
- (3)Digvijay Pratap Singh bt (2)Bogdan Bobrov 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-4
- (3)SD Prajwal Dev/Nitin Kumar Sinha bt Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta/Manish Sureshkumar 6-4, 6-3
Sunday’s fixtures: Singles final
- (4)Ramkumar Ramanathan Vs. (3)Digvijay Pratap Singh at 10 a.m
Pics credit: – Deepthi Indukuri/KSLTA