Divij Sharan and his partner Artem Sitak shocked top seeds John Peers and Michael Venus in two close sets to move to the quarterfinals of the ATP ASB Classic, on Wednesday.

The Indo-Kiwi pair edged out the Australian-Kiwi pair 7-6 (4), 7-6(3) in the opening round of the USD 610,010 hard court tournament, the last in run up to the Australian Open, season’s first Grand Slam.

Left-handed Sharan and Sitak next face Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, who got a walkover from Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa.

Also moving to the last-eight stage were third seeds Rohan Bopanna from India and Finland’s Henri Kontinen, who beat wild card entrants Cameron Norrie and Rhett Purcell 6-4 6-2.

They are now up against Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan.


Earlier, Bopanna made a fine start to his new season as he clinched a title at the recently concluded Qatar Open. The 39-year-old with his Dutch Wesley Koolhof enjoyed a perfect team debut in Doha. Bopanna and Koolhof, seeded at No. 3, played two matches and ended on the winning side on both occasions.

Bopanna and Koolhof saw off second-seeded Henri Kontinen and Franko Skugor 7-5, 6-2 in the semifinal, before they defeated Luke Bambridge and Santiago Gonzalez 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 in the final.

Bopanna will join hands with six-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 doubles star Sania Mirza at the Australian Open 2020.

After coming close to a medal at the Rio Olympics, when Sania and Bopanna were up a set in the semifinals against Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram, the resolve is to do better at Tokyo.