Bellier, Nikles Advance To Quarterfinals At Bengaluru Open

Antoine Bellier (photo: Bengaluru Open)

BENGALURU/STARNBERG, February 17, 2022

Two players from Switzerland booked their spot in the quarterfinals of the Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger hard-court tournament on Thursday. Johan Nikles defeated Markos Kalovelonis 6-2, 6-3 to end the run of the Greek qualifier.

The World No. 350 from Geneva, who reached the stage of the final four for the first time at Challenger level in Lima last year, saved both break points he faced and capitalized on four of his own five break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and five minutes.

Nikles will next play No. 3 seed Enzo Couacaud of France, who fought past Indian wild card entry Arjun Kadhe 7-6(7), 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes.

Despite being broken in the opening game and the fifth game to trail 1-4, Kadhe fought back by breaking Couacaud’s serve in the 6th and 10th games to restore parity. As the issue was being settled via a tie-break, Kadhe, with just a point to win the set at 6-2, squandered away the opportunity losing the tie-break 7-9, thanks to his own mistakes that gave the World No. 155 an edge.

The second set saw both the players holding their serves until the fifth game before they broke each other for the next four games. Despite the 11 double faults by Couacaud against four by Kadhe, the latter could not take advantage of his opponent’s mistakes as he was broken once again in the 12th game to lose the set and the match.

In the top half of the singles draw, Swiss qualifier Antoine Bellier edged past local wild card Sidharth Rawat 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. World No. 650 Rawat traded blow for blow in his against Bellier until the 10th game, where the he made two double faults to lose serve and the set. The 28-year-old Indian played some flawless tennis in the second set, which he won with two breaks in the fifth and seventh games. The final set was an exact replica of the opening set, only this time, Bellier was brilliant with his ground strokes and broke Rawat’s serve in the 10th game to grab a spot in the quarterfinals of an ATP Challenger Tour event for the first time after one hour and 51 minutes.

World No. 509 Bellier will next take on last week’s Bengaluru Open runner-up Borna Gojo. The 23-year-old Croatian beat Russian veteran Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-1. The encounter lasted 70 minutes.

Thursday Results

Singles – Second Round

Johan Nikles (SUI) bt Q-Markos Kalovelonis (GRE) 6-2, 6-3; 3-Enzo Couacaud (FRA) bt WC-Arjun Kadhe (IND) 7-6 (7), 7-5; Q-Antoine Bellier (SUI) bt WC-Sidharth Rawat (IND) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Borna Gojo (CRO) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS)  6-4, 6-1.

Doubles – Quarterfinals

3-Saketh Myneni (IND)/Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) bt Vladyslav Orlov (UKR)/Kai Wehnelt (GER) 6-4, 7-6 (3); Enzo Coucaud (FRA)/Andrew Harris (AUS) bt 2-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND)/Purav Raja 3-6, 6-2, 13-11; 4-N Sriram Balaji/Vishnu Vardhan bt Markos Kalovelonis (GRE)/Toshihide Matsui (JPN) 6-3, 4-6, 11-9; 1-Alexander Erler (AUT)/Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt WC-SD Prajwal Dev (IND)/Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) 6-1, 3-6, 10-6.