Tennis

MSLTA Pune Challenger | Duckworth passes the Ramkumar test

Passing the test: Duckworth did his homework before taking on Ramkumar.

Passing the test: Duckworth did his homework before taking on Ramkumar.   | Photo Credit: Mrinal Kaul

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The Indian, however, books a berth in the doubles final in the company of Purav

James Duckworth, the second seed, staked a claim for the title in impressive fashion, getting past sixth seed Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-6(8), 6-2 in the semifinal of the KPIT MSLTA Pune Challenger tennis tournament at the MSLTA School of Tennis courts, Balewadi sports complex, here on Saturday.

Ramkumar, however, clinched a berth in the doubles final in the company of Purav Raja. The two will meet another Indian pair of Saketh Myneni and Arjun Kadhe.

Adjusting quickly

Competing for the first time on the faster hard courts, Duckworth quickly adjusted to the conditions and was rewarded with a summit clash against fifth-seeded Jay Clark.

Duckworth, who had overcome Sasi Kumar Mukund in a tough quarterfinal, was well-equipped to handle the weapons in Ramkumar’s armoury. “I watched his matches before and knew about the big serve and volley,” revealed the Australian.

Duckworth dropped serve at the start, broke back in the sixth to make it 3-3 and came into his own in the tie-breaker. His touch-play was effective and his volleying stood out as he repeatedly passed Ramkumar.

Shining in patches

Though Ramkumar shone in patches during the first set, with aces and solid passing shots, he was not able to repeat the ruthless serve-and-volleying game which had doused Sumit Nagal’s fightback in the quarterfinals.

In the other semifinal, Clark faced little resistance from Spaniard Roberto Ortega Olmedo, losing just five games in all. However, given the form Duckworth is in, the Brit has a big task on his hands.

The results (semifinals): Jay Clark (GBr) bt Roberto Ortega Olmedo (Esp) 6-3, 6-2; James Duckworth (Aus) bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-6(8), 6-2.

Doubles: Arjun Kadhe & Saketh Myneni bt Vishnu Vardhan & Toshide Matsui (Jpn) 5-7, 7-6(1), 10-4; Purav Raja & Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Brydan Klein & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 7-5.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:40:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/mslta-pune-challenger-duckworth-passes-the-ramkumar-test/article29994312.ece

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