Donskoy enters Pune ATP Challenger semis

Pune, Oct 29 (IANS) N. Sundar Prashanth of India went down fighting to Russian second seed Evegeny Donskoy in the men’s singles quarter-finals of the $50,000 ATP Challenger being played at the MSLTA School of Tennis, Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Complex here on Thursday.

Fourth seed and winner of the Bengaluru leg, Englishman James Ward and Russian eighth seed Alexander Kudryatsev were the other players to make the last four. The winner of the match between top seed Yuki Bhambri and Chen Ti of Chinese Taipei would decide the last semi-finalist.

Donskoy had to bring out his best to quell the challenge of 376th ranked Prashanth 7-6(8), 7-6(5) in two hours. Prashanth looked solid and seemed to carry over from his win over Somdev Devvarman on Wednesday, hitting stroke for stroke.

The 25-year-old Donskoy increased his tempo towards the end, forcing his 29-year-old opponent into making errors. Donskoy served 13 aces which was the deciding factor in the match.

Donskoy will next take on compatriot Kudryatsev, who upset third seeded Adrian Menendez-Maceiras of Spain 6-2, 6-1 in an hour and six minutes. The 198th ranked Kudryatsev served and volleyed well to upset the 140th ranked Spaniard.

In-form player Ward stopped Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-3, 6-3 in just 58 minutes. Ward hammered 10 aces and broke once in every set to stop the 21-year-old Ivashka. Ward will now take on the winner of the match between Bhambri and Chen.

In men’s doubles, third seeds Maxmilian Neuchrist of Austria and India’s Divij Sharan beat second seeds and title holders Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh 4-6, 7-5, 12-10. They will face fourth seeds, the Spanish pair of Gerard Granollers and Menendez-Maceiras, who upset top seeds Kudryavtsev and Purav Raja of India 6-3, 4-6, 12-10.

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