Ramkumar Ramanathan will on Saturday take on American Tim Smyczek in the semi-finals at the Hall of Fame Open grasscourt tournament in Newport. The two have not played each other before but their triumphs ensure one of them will reach his first ATP singles championship match on Sunday.
Ramanathan yesterday notched up a straight-sets win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil to reach his first ever ATP semi-finals. The 23-year-old from Chennai took one hour and 18 minutes to get across Pospisil 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. The 161-ranked Indian, who had stunned world No. 8 Dominic Thiem at the Antalya Open last year, sent down five aces and converted the three break points that came his way.
30-year-old Smyczek, also a first-time semi-finalist, had defeated Taiwan’s Jason Jung 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in the quarter-final.
Meanwhile, it was curtains down for giant-killers Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Austin Krajicek as they lost their doubles semi-final clash against fourth seeds Spain’s Marcelo Arevalo and Mexico’s Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela.
Jeevan and Austin, who had knocked out Leander Paes and his American partner Jamie Cerretani in the quarters, lost 7-5, 5-7, 11-13 in their last-four encounter.
In the other men’s doubles semi-final, Divij Sharan and his partner Jackson Withrow lost 3-6, 4-6 to New Zealand’s Artem Sitak and Israel’s Janathan Erlich.
(With agency inputs)