Pune, Oct 28 (IANS) Top seed Yuki Bhambri survived a scare while five other Indians went down fighting in the second round of the $50,000 ATP Challenger at the MSLTA School of Tennis, Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Complex here on Wednesday. In the opening match of the day, Bhambri just about managed to win against Nikola Milojevic, beating the Serbian 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in a match lasting over two hours. Bhambri lost the first set but came back strongly to reclaim the match. “Poor execution made my own life tough. I constructed well but didn’t finish. It happens in the match, the important thing is to get through it. I’ve adjusted to the court,” said Bhambri. He will next take on Chinese Taipei Davis Cupper Chen Ti, who quelled the challenge of qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6(4), 6-1, 6-1 in an hour and 48 minutes. Prajnesh, who has beaten Chen once earlier, started well but lost the plot midway. It was an identical story with former national champion Vishnu Vardhan, who did all the right things except winning the match. 

Vardhan went down fighting to British Davis Cupper and sixth seeded James Ward in two hours and six minutes. Ward, who hit 14 aces, put out Vardhan 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 and will next face Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, who ended the challenge of wildcard Sumit Nagal 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 33 minutes. Nagal, who sustained a pull on his stomach muscle midway through his match, also had to pull out of the doubles quarterfinal where he was partnering Vardhan. Eighth seeded Alexander Kudryavtsev proved too strong for Sanam Singh, registering an easy 6-4, 6-2 win while third seeded Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain came back from being 2-5 and 5-6 down in the tiebreak to turn the tables on Ramkumar Ramanathan and win 7-6(6), 7-6(5) in a hotly contested match. Second seeded Russian Evgeny Donskoy kept on course, reaching the last eight with a 6-4, 6-3 win against Germain Gigounon of Belgium. Donskoy will be up against the winner of the match between Sondev Devvarman and Vijay Sundar Prashanth. In the doubles quarterfinals, Indo-Russian top seeds Purav Raja and Alexander Kudryavtsev scored a 6-4, 7-5 win over Chen and Czech Michal Konecny. Second seeds Saketh Myneni and Sanam easily accounted for the Belgian pair of Gigounon and Yannick Mertens 6-2, 6-3 while third seeded Maxmilan Neuchrist of Austria and India’s Divij Sharan scored a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Serbian Nikola Milojevic and Ramkumar Ramanathan. Fourth seeds Granollers and Menendez-Maceiras didn’t have to step on the court as Nagal and Vardhan conceded the match.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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