New York: India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and American Tim Smyczek, each hoping to reach his first ATP singles final, advanced to the semi-finals of the Hall of Fame Open grasscourt tournament on Thursday. However, veteran Leander Paes bowed out after losing his doubles quarter-final.
Ramanathan surrendered only seven points on his first serve over 78 minutes in defeating Canada's Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-2 and Smyczek held off Taiwan's Jason Jung 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 in quarter-final matches at Newport, Rhode Island.
World number 123 Smyczek, 30, has never played 161st-ranked Ramanathan, but their triumphs ensure one of them will reach his first ATP singles championship match on Sunday.
Paes, who is playing his first match since creating the Davis Cup world record in February for most number of wins in doubles, and his American partner Jamie Cerretani suffered a 3-6, 6-7(3) loss to giant-killers Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Austin Crajicek.
Jeevan and Austin, who had toppled top seeds Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith in the first round, will face fourth seeds Spain's Marcelo Arevalo and Mexico's Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela in the semi-final.
Friday's quarter-finals send US third seed Steve Johnson against Israel's 156th-ranked Dudi Sela and 124th-ranked Spaniard Marcel Granollers against French top seed Adrian Mannarino.
Ramanathan, a 23-year-old from Chennai, was 1-2 this year in ATP events until this week, when he ousted Dominican Victor Burgos 6-4, 6-1 in his opener and dispatched US eighth seed Denis Kudla 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.
In-form Divij Sharan and his partner Jackson Withrow, seeded second, defeated Australia's Matthew Ebden and Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 (4), 6-3 to set up a semi-final clash with New Zealand's Artem Sitak and Israel's Janathan Erlich.
Artem and Janathan saw off third seeds India's Purav Raja and British Ken Skupski 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a thrilling quarter-final contest.
Saturday's semi-finals will be staged around the International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Czech Helena Sukova and Germany's Michael Stich.
With inputs from Agencies
Updated Date: Jul 20, 2018 13:53 PM