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Nagal enters QF of Chennai Open

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CHENNAI, Feb 7: Playing on the Centre Court at 2 pm local time, Sumit Nagal, the second seed, made light of the hot and humid conditions, attacked well from the baseline and volleyed when it mattered to script a facile 7-5, 6-2 win over Giovanni Fonio of Italy in the second round of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis championships here on Wednesday.
Luca Nardi of Italy, the top seed, huffed and puffed before overcoming Bernard Tomic of Australia 7-5, 6-3. Nardi will next take on the fifth seed Italian Stefano Napolitano, who put it across Dan Added of France 6-2, 6-1.
Fonio is an attacking player much like Nagal except that he has a one-handed backhand unlike his Indian opponent. There was little to separate the two in the first set as both confidently held their serves. Fioni held his serve at love in the 10th game as the score was tied at 5-5. So did Nagal in the next game.
In the 12th game, the Italian ranked 270 in the world, was broken at 15 when he put a routine backhand shot from the baseline straight into the net.
Nagal, the highest ranked Indian in the world at 121, raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set with some attractive forehand crosscourt winners and strong first serves. Fioni’s game started to fall apart as he continued to commit far too many unforced errors from the baseline.
In the last match of the day, Dominik Palan of Czech Republic fought back a tough challenge from Samuel Vincent Ruggeri of Italy before winning 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. Palan will challenge Nagal in the quarterfinals.
Nardi struggled in the first set, but was able to break Tomic in the 12th game with a good finish at the net to pocket the set. Tomic looked uninterested in the second as the Italian raced to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead. From thereon, there wasn’t much of a fight from the Australian.
Also top seed pair of N Sriram Balaji of India and his partner Andre Begemann of Germany beat the French pair of Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine and Maxime Janvier 6-3, 6-2.
Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan pair also won their encounter against Ray Ho of Chinese Taipei and Poland’s Piotr Matuszewski 7-6, 6-4. Another Indian pair of Rithvik Choudary Bollipalli and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha, seeded fourth beat Italian Stefano Napolitano and his Spanish parterner Oriol Roca Batalla 6-2, 6-1.
The wildcard Indian pair of Parikshit Somani and Manish Sureshkumar also won their match against Moez Echargui and Giovanni Fonio 2-6, 6-2, 10-2. (Agencies)

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