Sport

Nagal rolls over Jaziri

Holding centrestage: Sumit Nagal had little trouble capitalising on Malek Jaziri’s errors.

Holding centrestage: Sumit Nagal had little trouble capitalising on Malek Jaziri’s errors.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Poonacha posts biggest win of career, dumps Rosol

Indian players enjoyed a good day at the office in the $162,000 Bengaluru Open ATP Tennis Challenger at KSLTA Stadium here on Tuesday.

While Saketh Myneni and Niki Poonacha knocked out higher-ranker opponents, Sumit Nagal underlined his class with a comfortable win.

Poonacha created a huge stir, taking out favourite Lukas Rosol 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the second round. Rosol, who famously upset Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon 2012, struggled to get going against Poonacha.

For Poonacha, ranked 937 places below Rosol, this was the biggest victory of his career. “I received a wild-card for this tournament, and I wanted to make the most of it. This win is a huge confidence boost,” the 24-year-old Poonacha said.

As the crowd began to swell in the evening session, Nagal took centrestage. Armed with a crushing forehand, Nagal whipped Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-0, 6-4. Jaziri made the mistake of dropping too many short balls, which Nagal had little trouble dispatching for winners.

Nagal ran around the ball to get his forehand into play — a ploy that worked well. “My forehand is my strength. I’m not going to defeat anyone with a serve-and-volley game,” Nagal said.

The 22-year-old Nagal, however, must be worried about his weak serve, which conceded seven double-faults.

Jaziri, who reached a career-high world ranking of 42 only a year ago, made too many unforced errors. Jaziri was unhappy with a few line calls, but his protests had little impact on the outcome of the match.

Myneni, meanwhile, recorded a 6-3, 6-3 win over sixth-seeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy. Sasikumar Mukund was the rare Indian to disappoint, losing 5-7, 3-6 to Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.

The results: Second round: Saketh Myneni bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 6-3, 6-3; Sumit Nagal bt Malek Jaziri (Tun) 6-0, 6-4; Yuichi Sugita (Jpn) bt Vaclav Safranek (Cze) 6-4, 6-3; Niki Poonacha bt Lucas Rosol (Cze) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; Ilya Ivashka (Blr) bt Sasikumar Mukund 7-5, 6-3.

First round: Benjamin Bonzi (Fra) bt Manish Sureshkumar 6-2, 6-3; Stefano Travaglia (Ita) bt Filippo Baldi (Ita) 6-2, 6-1; Abhinav Shanmugam bt Daniel Masur (Ger) 7-5, 6-3; Julian Ocleppo (Ita) bt Anirudh Chandrashekar 6-2, 6-1.

Doubles (first round): Frederico Ferreira Silva (Por) & Nikola Milojevic (Srb) bt Sriram Balaji & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-7(1), 7-5, [10-8]; C. Hsieh (Tpe) & D. Molchanov (Ukr) bt N. Prashanth & Vishnu Vardhan 6-3, 7-6(6); Purav Raja & Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Prajwal Dev & Adil Kalyanpur 6-2, 6-2.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 6:48:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/nagal-rolls-over-jaziri/article30794731.ece

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