Defending champion Prajnesh Gunneswaran loses to Benjamin Bonzi, Leander Paes advances to doubles Semi-finals, Bengaluru Tennis Open

The country’s No.1 singles player and defending champion, seventh seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran was beaten with surprising ease by Benjamin Bonzi of France 7-6(5), 6-0 in the pre-quarterfinals of the $162,480 Bengaluru Open Challenger tennis tournament at the KSLTA Stadium on Thursday.

Sumit Nagal, who had won the title in 2017 was also beaten without much of a tussle by Blaz Rola of Slovenia 6-3, 6-3.

Saketh Myneni put up a good fight before bowing to Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in three sets. Ramkumar Ramanathan could fight only till the tie-break of the first set against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, Sidharth Rawat bowed out in two tight sets to Julian Ocleppo of Italy, national champion Niki Poonacha was beaten 7-5, 6-3 by third seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan.

There was something to savour for the Indian camp in doubles, as Saketh Myneni in partnership with Matt Reid of Australia knocked out the top seeds Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Denys Molchanov 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 to make the semifinals. The Indo-Aussie pair will take on No4 seeds Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja in the semifinals.

Leander Paes in partnership with Matthew Ebden of Australia beat third seeds Andre Goransson of Sweden and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia 7-5, 0-6, 10-7 in the super tie-break. Goransson and Rungkat had won the ATP Tour event in Pune last week.

Leander and partner will face the runner-up of the Pune ATP event, Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski in the semifinals.

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ASIAN TENNIS

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