Pune, Feb 8: Indian pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Raja Purav put a gritty performance before going down 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 against Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski in the doubles semi-finals at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium here on Saturday.
Erlich-Vasilevski will now face Andre Goransson and Christopher Rungkat in the final on Sunday. Earlier in the singles semi-finals, Czech star player Jiri Vesely produced a brilliant performance to register a sensational come-from-behind 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7) win against the second-seed Ricardas Berankis.
Vesely will face Egor Gerasimov of Belarus in the final on Sunday. Eighth-seed Gerasimov of Belarus, despite some stiff challenge in the first set, managed to hold the nerve and registered 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 win over Australian James Duckworth in another semi-final.In an intense fight between Vesely and Berankis in the last-4 clash that saw all three sets going in to decider. While Berankis won the first set, Vesely bagged the second to keep his challenge alive during his third appearance at the Tata Open Maharashtra.
When Vesely and Berankis met last time in the round-of-128 during the 2019 US Open, the Lithuanian star clinched the marathon five-setter encounter. Six months later both played with the same grit and hardly game each other any chances to score in the neck-and-neck match at the South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament which is organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with Government of Maharashtra.
The 26-year-old Vesely, who stunned then NextGen star Alexander Zverev in the first round of 2019 Wimbledon, made World No 73 Berankis work hard in the last two sets in the epic three hours and two minutes clash to clinch the thrilling encounter. (UNI)