Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Aqeel Khan of Pakistan won the ITF Satellite tennis circuit as he made the semifinals of the Masters event with a 6-7(10), 6-2, 6-4 victory over Ashutosh Singh at the DLTA Complex here on Wednesday.

With the hard-earned victory Aqeel took his points tally in the circuit to an unbeatable 58 and thus assured himself of the eight ATP bonus points earmarked for the champion of the circuit.

Second triumph

It was the second Satellite triumph for the 26-year-old Aqeel who had won a similar circuit back home in Pakistan in 2004.

The top-seeded Aqeel played with considerable resolve after having lost the first set from a position of strength when he held as many as four set points.

In contrast, the talented Ashutosh could not ride on the momentum as his game tended to dip alarmingly. The 23-year-old local lad was broken thrice in the second set, but was in control when he took a 2-0 lead in the decider with a break in the second game.

However, Ashutosh lost his way as he got broken in the third and fifth games. He did save a match point but buried a backhand into the net on the second match point to put an end to a gripping contest that spanned two hours and 40 minutes.

Ashutosh collected $200 for his quarterfinals appearance and added nine ATP points to his kitty.

Aditya Madkekar, who eased past the third seed Vijay Kannan, will be up against Aqeel.

The champion of the third leg, Divij Sharan beat Vivek Shokeen in straight sets. Divij will meet Navdeep Singh in the semifinals. Divij and Navdeep made the doubles final as well and put themselves in line for winning the circuit, especially after the elimination of Mustafa Ghouse and Pathanjali Ravishankar.

The results: Singles (quarterfinals): Aqeel Khan (Pak) bt Ashutosh Singh 6-7(10), 6-2, 6-4; Aditya Madkekar bt Vijay Kannan 6-3, 6-4; Divij Sharan bt Vivek Shokeen 6-4, 7-5; Navdeep Singh bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Doubles (semifinals): Aqeel Khan (Pak)/ Punna Vishal bt Mustafa Ghouse/ Pathanjali Ravishankar 7-6(3), 6-2; Divij Sharan/ Navdeep Singh bt Vijay Kannan/ Ashutosh Singh 7-6(3), 7-6(5).

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