BENGALURU/STARNBERG, February 18, 2022
“Gud luck mite,” said the Australian Max Purcell to his countryman Aleksandar Vukic as the coin went up during the toss. The latter did need luck as the Australian Open finalist Purcell gave him a run for his money, stretching the top seed of the Bengaluru Open 2 to three sets before caving in. Vukic secured a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory in one hour and 53 minutes to reach the semi-finals of the ATP Challenger Tour 80 tournament.
Friday’s quarterfinal match was hard fought from the word ‘go’ as both tested each other’s serve and were involved in long rallies before Vukic achieved a crucial break in the fifth game and won the first set. The second set saw both players holding their serves until the fifth game before Purcell stepped up his game and broke his rival’s service in the 6th and 8th games to wrap up the set. After struggling to hold his serve in the second game of the decider, the top ranked player in the tournament sent down three of his 21 aces in the fourth game and earned a break in the next to cruise through the set and the match.
World No. 135 Vukic will next meet last week’s Bengaluru Open finalist Borna Gojo of Crotia, who quelled the challenge of Swiss qualifier Antoine Bellier 6-4, 7-6(3) in one hour and 32 minutes.
The only other seed left in the singles draw, third favourite Enzo Couacaud of France, and Bulgarian Dimitar Kuzmanov will face off in the other semi-final after registering almost similar victories against their opponents. While Couacaud won 6-1, 6-2 against Johan Nikles of Switzerland, Kuzmanov was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Frenchman Mathias Bourgue.
Bulgarian @KuzmanovD defeats Frenchman @_bourguinho 6-4, 6-2 to cruise into the semifinals of the Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger. Watch this space for more updates! #menssingles #menstennis #atpchallenger #bengaluruopen@AITA__Tennis @ATPChallenger pic.twitter.com/X0GDByuNv2
— Bengaluru Tennis Open (@BlrTennisOpen) February 18, 2022
Singles – Quarterfinals
1-Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) bt Max Purcell (AUS) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) bt Mathias Bourgue (FRA) 6-4, 6-2; 3-Enzo Couacaud (FRA) bt Johan Nikles (SUI) 6-1, 6-2; Borna Gojo (CRO) Vs. Q-Antoine Bellier (SUI) 6-4, 7-6 (3).
1-Alexander Erler (AUT)/Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt 4-N Sriram Balaji/Vishnu Vardhan 6-4, 4-6, 10-3; 3-Saketh Myneni (IND)/Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND) bt Enzo Coucaud (FRA)/Andrew Harris (AUS) 6-1, 7-6 (3).