CHANDIGARH, APRIL 3 Three Indian, including top seed Rohan Bopanna, stormed into the singles semi-finals of the $ 10,000 India F5 Futures ITF Men’s Circuit being played at the CLTA Stadium in Sector 10 here today. The semi-final line-up is: Rohan Bopanna vs Divij Sharan and Harsh Mankad vs third seed Hyun-Woo Nam of Korea. Top seeded pair of Vivek Shokeen and Ashutosh Singh suffered an unexpected debacle ans third seeded duo of Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja registered a well-merited 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-4 win in the doubles semi-final match.
They will now face Harsh Mankad and Rupesh Roy who ended the challenge of Yuki Bhambri and Kamala Kannan 6-3, 6-1 in the doubles semi-final match.. Serving a speed of 125 miles per hour, Rohan Bopanna just managed to pip formidable unseeded Danila Arsenov in three hotly-contested sets 6-7 (8), 7-6 (1), 6-3 in a quarter-final match. Trailing 4-5 in the second set, Bopanna saved a match point in the 10th game before bouncing back into the game with a vengeance and went on to clinch the issue and moved into semi-final. On his serve in the 10th game of the second set, Bopanna returned a backhand into net to trail 30-40, with Arsenov having gained a break point for the game, set and match.
For the next point, into order to kill, the Russian rushed to the net and fumbled giving a sigh of relief to Bopanna and his supporters. Bopanna unleashed a hot serve after advantage to make it 5-all. The issue then went to the tie-breaker session which Bopanna completely dominated with his serve-and-volleybal game. The Indian Davis Cupper who is preparing for the forthcoming Davis Cup match against Japan won the tie-breaker at 7-1. In the deciding set, Bopanna won the first three games with a break in the second. Arsenov won the fourth, fifth and sixth games, after breaking Bopanna in the fifth game to make it 3-all. The Indian Davis Cupper then asserted his authority more and claimed the seventh, eighth and ninth games in a row to seal the fate of Arsenov. Bopanna fired 19 aces and committed thre double faults while Arsenov recorded seven aces.
The marathon match lasted 179 minutes. Bopanna will now face his colleague left handed Divij Sharan in the semi-final slated for tomorrow. At the adjacent court Divij Sharan snuffed out the challenge of Roman Jebavy of Czech Republic in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. This quarter-final match lasted one hour and 24 minutes. From the lower half of the draw of 32, wild card Harsh Mankad stopped the great winning run of 16-year-old Australian Junior Open semi-finalist Yuki Bhambri 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes.
Mankad’s opponent in the semi-final will be third seed Korean Hyun-Woo Nam who denied a clean Indian sweep in quarter-finals as he ousted Vivek Shokeen in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 23 minutes. Results: Singles (quarter-finals): 1-Rohan Bopanna (Ind) bt Danila Arsenov (Rus) 6-7 (8), 7-6 (1), 6-3; Divij Sharan(Ind) bt Roman Jebavy (Cze) 7-5, 6-2; 3-Hyun-Woo Nam (Korea) bt Vivek Shokeen (Ind) 6-4, 6-2; WC-Harsh Mankad (Ind) bt WC-Yuki Bhambri (Ind) 6-4, 6-3. Doubles: Semi-finals: Harsh Mankad and Rupesh Roy (Ind) bt Yuki Bhambri and Kamala Kannan (Ind) 6-3, 6-1; 3-Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja (Ind) bt 1-Vivek Shokeen and Ashutosh Singh (Ind) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-4.