Leander Paes and his Canadian partner Adil Shamashdin entered the semi-finals of the Antalya Open in Turkey on Wednesday. The pair beat Carlos Berlocq and Jaou Sousa of Argentina and Portugal respectively. While Paes-Shamashdin were fourth-seeded, their opponents had come through the qualifiers.
The Indo-Canadian pair beat their opponents 6-1 6-2 to storm into the semis. They now face Oliver Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia in the penultimate tie. Marach-Pavic had come through after beating Indian pair Divij Sharan and Purav Raja. In a nail-biter of a match, Raja-Sharan pushed their opponents to the limit and the scoreline at the end of the game read 6-7 (9-11),7-6 (7-4), 4-10.
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Earlier, on Tuesday, Ramkumar Ramanathan had pulled off one of the shocks of the tournament when he beat World no. 8 and top seed Dominic Thiem in straight sets. In a match that lasted just under an hour, Ramanathan, ranked 222 on the ATP rankings beat Thiem 6-3, 6-2. He will face veteran Cyprus star Marcos Baghdatis in the quarter-final. Ramanathan had come into the tournament through the qualifiers. He served an ace in the second set to finish the match. There was no celebration as he calmly touched the court and shook hands with this year’s French Open semi-finalist Thiem. Ramanathan had earlier beaten Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-4 in the first round. Ramkumar, however, could not make it to the Wimbledon qualifiers, the cut-off date for which ended on June 25.
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