CHENNAI: Sumit Nagal kept India’s hopes alive in the Chennai Open Challenger men’s singles competition with a comeback win over lucky loser Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei in the second round at the SDAT Tennis Stadium here on Thursday.
Following his 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory on Centre Court, Sumit, the lone Indian alive in the singles main draw, set up a quarter-final meeting on Friday with Great Britain’s Jay Clarke, who got the better of Dimitar Kuzmanov from Bulgaria 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
After surrendering the opening set 3-6, World No.506 Sumit, who came into the tournament proper through qualifying, looked a different player altogether in the second and third sets that he dominated from start to finish. The Indian broke his opponent’s serve as many as six times in the last two sets to secure the come-from-behind win in one hour and 52 minutes.
But, Sumit could not make it a ‘double’ on the day as he, alongside Mukund Sasikumar, went down 6-7(5), 0-6 to the top-seeded combination of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in the doubles quarter-finals. After edging out their rivals in the opening set of the all-Indian clash, Sriram and Jeevan lived up to their billing in the second.
India’s Arjun Kadhe, partnering Clarke, also advanced to the doubles semi-finals, courtesy of an upset 1-6, 7-6(8), 10-8 victory over the third seeds JiSung Nam and MinKyu Song.
Meanwhile, Australians James Duckworth and Max Purcell also made it to the singles quarter-finals with straight-set wins. While second seed Duckworth defeated Hamad Medjedovic 6-2, 7-6(3), Max recorded a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over Petr Nouza. They will be up against each other in the last-eight stage on Friday.
Singles: Second round: James Duckworth bt Hamad Medjedovic 6-2, 7-6(3); Jay Clarke bt Dimitar Kuzmanov 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Sumit Nagal bt Jason Jung 3-6, 6-2, 6-0; Max Purcell bt Petr Nouza 7-5, 6-3
Doubles: Quarter-finals: N Sriram Balaji/Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Sumit Nagal/Mukund Sasikumar 7-6(5), 6-0; Jay Clarke/Arjun Kadhe bt JiSung Nam/MinKyu Song 1-6, 7-6(8), 10-8; Petr Nouza/Andrew Paulson bt Francesco Maestrelli 6-3, 6-4; Sebastian Ofner/Nino Serdarusic bt Ryan Peniston/Dalibor Svrcina 6-1, 6-7(3), 10-4
SINGLES QUARTER-FINAL LINE-UP: Sumit Nagal vs Jay Clarke; Max Purcell vs James Duckworth; Nicolas Moreno De Alboran vs Yasutaka Uchiyama; Dane Sweeny vs Arthur Cazaux
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