BENGALURU: Sumit Nagal fought bravely but went down 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Max Purcell in a thrilling pre-quarterfinals of the Bengaluru Open 2023 at the KSLTA Stadium here on Thursday.
However, the Indian camp had a reason to smile as the doubles pair of Anirudh Chandrasekhar and N Prashanth reached the semi-finals, overcoming Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe and Australia’s Akira Santillan 3-6, 6-4, 12-10.
Later, Arjun Kadhe also entered the doubles semi-finals in the company of Austria’s Max Neuchrist. The duo beat 7-5, 6-3 win over Frederico Silva and Dimitar Kuzmanov.
The prestigious ATP Challenger event is being organised by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) at the KSLTA Stadium in Bengaluru.
Nagal, who had to fight through a tough three-setter against Nam Hoang Ly in the previous round, started off brightly winning the first set 6-4. The Indian was solid in all facets of the game and he did not lose a single point on his second serve.
Purcell looked shaky and could win only 33 per cent of his second serve points but the Australian harnessed his assets to better effect in the second set. Purcell, the defending Wimbledon doubles champion, upped his game a notch higher and used his booming serve to earn some quick points.
He affected a break in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead and then bagged the second set 6-3 with an easy hold.
The third set too offered a similar pattern as both the players held their serves till the 6th game. Purcell, though, looked more sorted of the two as the Aussie combined his big serves with equally powerful ground shots.
Purcell made the crucial break in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead and then held his serve to stretch the lead to 5-3.
Under pressure to stay in the match, Nagal fought hard in the ninth game but Purcell clinched the break and sealed the game, set and match in his favour.
Meanwhile, No. 5 seed Luca Nardi and Dimitar Kuzmanov also made their way into the Last-8 with contrasting wins. While Nardi fought hard against Jason Jung during his 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 victory, Kuzmanov thrashed Alibek Kachmazov 6-3, 6-4.
India’ Ramkumar Ramanathan and his Italian partner Francesco Maestrelli crashed out in the quarter-finals following a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to top seeded Australian duo of Purcell and Marc Polmans. (ANI)