Sriram-Jeevan pair in semis after stunning second seeds

Balaji and Jeevan, who entered the tournament as an alternative pair, put up a sensational show in both the thrilling sets, which were decided in the tie-breakers.
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and N Sriram Balaji in quarter-final action
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and N Sriram Balaji in quarter-final action

PUNE: The Indian combination of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan pulled off one of the major upsets of the Tata Open Maharashtra, defeating the No.2 seeds Jackson Withrow and Nathaniel Lammons from America 7-6(6), 7-6(5) in the doubles quarter-finals at the Balewadi Stadium here on Thursday.

Balaji and Jeevan, who entered the tournament as an alternative pair, put up a sensational show in both the thrilling sets, which were decided in the tie-breakers. Withrow, the World No.49 and Lammons, ranked 46 in the world, gave it their all to extend the last-eight match into the final tie-breaker, but the Indian pairing did enough to get the result in its favour at the conclusion of the second set.

Meanwhile, India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, playing along with Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela, suffered a 2-6, 1-6 loss against the top-seeded duo of Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in another doubles quarter-final contest.

Earlier, the singles top seed Marin Cilic pulled out of the tournament after suffering a knee injury as his opponent, Tallon Griekspoor, was given a walkover in the Round-of-8.

“Hey guys, very sorry that I could not come out again today to compete. Today, during the warm up, I injured my knee and unfortunately it did not get better until I was about to go out on the court. Thanks to the fans for the great support this week, it was fantastic. I am looking forward to returning to India in the future to compete over here again,” the World No. 17 Cilic said in a statement.

In other singles quarter-final matches, World No.59 Aslan Karatsev registered a dominating 6-1, 6-2 victory against the Pedro Martinez while No.2 seed Botic van de Zandschulp thrashed qualifier Maximilian Marterer 6-4, 6-2.

RESULTS: Doubles (selected): Quarter-finals: Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan/N Sriram Balaji bt Nathaniel Lammons/ Jackson Withrow 7-6(6), 7-6(5); Rajeev Ram/ Joe Salisbury bt Ramkumar Ramanathan/ Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela 6-2, 6-1 Singles: Quarter-finals: Marin Cilic handed walkover to Tallon Griekspoor; Maximilian Marterer lost to Botic van de Zandschulp 4-6, 2-6; Pedro Martinez lost to Aslan Karatsev 1-6, 2-6; Filip Krajinovic lost to Benjamin Bonzi 6-7(5), 4-6

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