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Pune, February 7, 2020
Czech star Jiri Vesely chalked out a sensational three-set victory against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus to storm into the singles semi-finals of the Tata Open Maharashtra at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium here on Friday.
India’s only hope for the title in the South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament, in-form pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja, will face challenge from third seeded Jonathan Erich and Andrei Vasilevski in the second doubles semi-finals on Saturday. The duo entered the last four with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Andre Goransson and Christopher Rungkat overcame Romain Arneodo and Andre Begemann 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in the first doubles semi-finals on Friday.
The 26-year-old Vesely, despite losing the first set 6-2, made an unlikely comeback to win the second set 6-1. The third set saw both the players giving a tough fight which went to the decider. However, the former World No. 35 Vesely, who upset World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo in 2016, managed to hold the edge over his rival to come from behind 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (13-11).
"It was a very close match. I think I was definitely lucky. I felt he deserved it more than I do at the end of the match. We both were very nervous," Vesely told the media after the match.
In another hard-fought quarter-final, second seed Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania recovered well after a first set setback to register a 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 victory against Japan's Yuichi Sugita.