Anning Challenger | Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan advance to quarter-finals

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Anning Challenger | Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan advance to quarter-finals

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SportsCafe Desk


Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan have continued their domineering run in Anning, China, as they registered wins against Saketh Myneni and Yan Bai, respectively. While Gunneswaran would play Adam Pavlásek next, Ramanathan will take on Zhang Zhizhen in the quarterfinals.

Myneni was never the favourite coming up against the top Indian seed and it became quite evident from the very first game when he started by losing his serve. The job was more or less sealed for Gunneswaran there and he kept winning his games from thereon keeping the lead intact until the seventh game when Myneni, in taking a risk, let Gunneswaran break him again. Gunneswaran won the first game 6-2.

The second set saw relatively fewer errors as the Indian duo went toe to toe winning their respective service games before Gunneswaran eventually broke his compatriot in the seventh game. Myneni did go for a final push in the very final game of the second set but that saw Gunneswaran being forced to save set point only once. Gunneswaran would take on Czech Republic’s Adam Pavlásek next.

Ramanathan was supposed to have an easy outing against China’s Yan Bai, who had previously beaten Sasi Kumar Mukund in the previous round, but things went for a toss. Ramanathan broke the Chinese in the very first game itself and as he looked all set to be the clear favourite in the clash, he himself got broken twice later in the fourth and sixth game.

As if that wasn’t enough, the first set saw more twists with Ramanathan breaking the Chinese again in the seventh and the ninth game before winning it 6-4. After the manner in which the first set had panned out, fans were at the edge of their seats for the second set, and it didn’t disappoint either. After breaking Yan twice in the first three games, Ramanathan lost his service game in the sixth game.

It was set for a showdown, which came in the eighth game of the set when Yan Bai forced Ramanathan to save five break points before leading 5-3. Eventually, Ramanathan won the match 6-4 to set up a quarter-final clash with yet another Chinese in ZhangZhizhen.

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