Tennis

No fairytale finish for Leander Paes

Everybody loves...Leander Paes, who may have played his last ATP tournament at home, obliges fans on Saturday.

Everybody loves...Leander Paes, who may have played his last ATP tournament at home, obliges fans on Saturday.  

Ramkumar-Purav combine triumphs in style; Bonzi to meet Duckworth

Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja, who have played second fiddle to Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden for the bulk of the $1,62,000 Bengaluru Open ATP Tennis Challenger here, forced their way to the forefront when it counted most.

In a clinical display, the duo whipped Paes-Ebden 6-0, 6-3 in the final at the KSLTA Stadium here on Saturday and ensured that Paes — playing possibly his last ATP event in India — would not ride into the sunset as a champion.

While Purav was all class at the net, Ramkumar covered the back-court well and muscled his groundstrokes. Paes and Ebden simply had no answers to the devastating one-two punch, in a summit clash that lasted just 56 minutes.

Service proves the difference

Ebden and Paes both struggled with their serves, recording a poor 49% combined first-serve percentage. Ramkumar, on the other hand, was devastating, consistently finding the right spots at around 220-kmph.

Ramkumar and Purav, who have now won three titles in the four tournaments they have entered, collected a cheque of $9,300 and 125 ATP ranking points.

“I’ve never had such good results with a new partner. The future looks bright. I don’t want to take Ramkumar away from his singles commitments, so I will have to work out my schedule so that we can play together often,” Purav said.

Ramkumar, whose main focus has been on singles, stated that he is enjoying his doubles run.

Bonding well

“Purav and I know exactly what to do in big moments. Purav knows where I will serve, and we know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. We bond well and the vibe is good — that is important,” said Ramkumar.

In singles, unseeded Benjamin Bonzi took out second seed S. Travaglia 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals. Bonzi, who has beaten four higher-ranked rivals here, reached his second Challenger final.

The Frenchman will face Australian James Duckworth in the final on Sunday. Duckworth cruised past Italy’s J. Ocleppo 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

The results:

Singles (semifinals): James Duckworth (Aus) bt J. Ocleppo (Ita) 6-3, 6-2; Benjamin Bonzi (Fra) bt S. Travaglia (Ita) 6-3, 6-4.

Doubles (final): Purav Raja & Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Matthew Ebden (Aus) & Leander Paes 6-0, 6-3.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:17:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/no-fairytale-finish-for-leander-paes/article30831238.ece

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