Maharashtra Open: Niki Poonacha stuns Sumit Nagal, advances to quarterfinals

Pune, Feb 22 (IANS) Wildcard entrant Niki Poonacha displayed sheer brilliance on the court, securing a stunning victory against top seed Sumit Nagal to move to the quarterfinals of the Maharashtra Open ATP Challenger 100 tournament at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here on Thursday.

Poonacha rallied back from a deficit to triumph over his fellow countryman with a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3.

Despite Nagal initially taking the lead with a 4-2 advantage in the first set, Poonacha showcased resilience and determination, levelling the scores before ultimately seizing the win, marking his inaugural quarterfinal appearance at this prestigious level.

Eyeing further success, Poonacha, fresh from his debut in India’s Davis Cup fixture, is set to face off against Australia’s seventh-seeded Dave Sweeny in the quarterfinal clash.

Ramkumar Ramanathan faced a tough defeat 6-4, 6-4 against Russia’s Alexey Zakharov, while Ajdukovic triumphed over USA’s Tristan Boyer 6-1, 6-1, setting the stage for the second quarterfinal show.

In men’s doubles, Indian pairs continued their stellar performance, with Arjun Kadhe and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan securing a spot in the semifinals after defeating their German counterparts 6-4, 7-6.

Additionally, the dynamic duo of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni extended their remarkable winning streak, clinching their 10th consecutive victory and advancing to the next stage with a hard-fought 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-2 victory over the formidable Italian pair of Ajdukovic and Dalla Valle.

–IANS

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