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ITF men's tennis: Poonacha only Indian to enter quarter-finals
New Delhi, April 1 - Foreign players' dominance was out in full display during the singles Round of 16 of the ITF Men's $15,000 New Delhi on Thursday, with seven out of eight quarter-finals spots booked by them.
Two Americans -- Oliver Crawford, fourth seed and winner of last week's ITF M15 Pune, and qualifier Alexander Kotzen -- along with Irish second seed Simon Carr, British third seed Aidan McHugh, Dalibor Svrcina of Czech Republic, Italy's Lorenzo Bocchi, and Hungarian Zsombor Velcz are the seven foreigners who have reached the quarter-finals.
Niki K. Poonacha, the 2019 national champion of India, outplayed the Swede Filip Bergevi 6-4, 6-4, who had knocked out the number one seed Sidharth Rawat on Wednesday, and made it to the quarter-finals as the only Indian.
India's Nitin Kumar Sinha, who made it to the main draw as lucky loser, put up a spirited fight against British third seed Aidan McHugh before bowing out 7-5, 6-7, 6-7 in a gruelling four-hour-and-nine-minute long match.
Sinha fired seven aces in total during the hard-fought three-setter and had just three double faults whilst McHugh could only manage three aces and double-faulted six times, but failed to convert both the tie-breaks.
Indians put up a better showing in doubles as three Indian pairs advance to the semi-finals. Top seeds Arjun Kadhe and Saketh Myneni, fourth seeds Anirudh Chandrasekar and Niki K Poonacha, and Manish Sureshkumar and Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan will be playing on Friday to book their place in the doubles final.
Czech-Hungarian duo Dalibor Svrcina and Zsombor Velcz beat the British pair Jonathan Binding and Henry Patten 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 to make it to the semi-finals.
The singles quarter-finals and doubles semi-finals are scheduled to be played at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium on Friday.
Singles (Main Draw, Round of 16): Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) bt Filip Bergevi (SWE) 6-4, 6-4; Dalibor Svrcina (CZE) bt Jonathan Mridha  (SWE) 6-3, 6-2; Lorenzo Bocchi (ITA) bt Luca Castelnuovo  (SUI) (Retd.) 4-6, 6-3, 3-0; Aiden McHugh  (GBR) bt Nitin Kumar Sinha (IND) 5-7, 7-6, 7-6; Alexander Kotzen (USA) bt Arjun Kadhe  (IND) 6-0, 6-4; Zsombor Velcz (HUN) bt Manish Sureshkumar  (IND) 6-3, 6-2; Simon Carr  (IRL) bt Marco Brugneretto (ITA) 6-4, 6-3; Oliver Crawford  (USA) bt Fardeen Qamar (IND) 6-2, 6-1
Doubles (Main Draw, Quarter-finals): Arjun Kadhe (IND) / Saketh Myneni (IND)  bt Simon Carr (IRL) / Alexander Kotzen (USA) 6-4, 7-5; Anirudh Chandrasekar (IND) / Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND)  bt Marco Brugneretto (ITA) / Davide Pozzi (ITA) 7-5, 6-3; Manish Sureshkumar (IND) / Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan (IND) bt Rishi Reddy (IND) / Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam (IND) 7-6, 5-7, 10-7; Dalibor Svrcina (CZE) / Zsombor Velcz (HUN) bt Jonathan Binding (GBR) / Henry Patten (GBR) 6-3, 3-6, 10-6
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