Ramkumar Ramanathan sealed his first ever ATP semi-final spot after defeating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil at the Hall of Fame Open grasscourt tournament in Newport.
With straight sets win over his opponent, Ramkumar became the first Indian singles player since 2011 to reach the semifinals of an ATP World Tour event.
Somdev Devvarman was the last Indian singles player to achieve this milestone. The former India number one had reached the final of two ATP 250 events – 2009 Chennai Open, where he lost to Marin Cilic and 2011 SA Tennis Open in Johannesburg, where he went down fighting to Kevin Anderson.
Ramkumar, who defeated World no.8 Dominic Thiem at the Antalya Open last year, crushed his Canadian opponent with five aces and converted the three break points to book his spot in the semis with a 7-5, 6-2 win that lasted for one hour and 18 minutes.
The 23-year-old from Chennai, also created a huge upset in the round of 16 after defeating eighth seed America’s Denis Kudla in a thrilling contest by 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The 161-ranked Indian will meet American world no. 123 Tim Smyczek in the last four of the tournament and has a big chance of making into a dream final of the ATP World Tour event, here at Newport.
Both players have never met each other in the past but their calsh will ensure one of them their first ATP singles championship match on Sunday.
However, veteran Leander Paes bowed out after losing his doubles quarterfinal at the Hall of Fame Open grasscourt tournament.
Paes, who was making his first appearance after creating the Davis Cup world record in February for most number of wins in doubles, and his American partner Jamie Cerretani went down fighting by 3-6 6-7 (3) against giant-killers Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Austin Crajicek in the doubles quarterfinals.