BELGAUM, INDIA: The third day of ITF Belgaum Open at the VTU Tennis complex saw the biggest upset when a determined Portugese teenager, Andre Gaspar Murta, knocked out the winner of the last two weeks at Davangere & Dharwad and second seed Sanam Singh. Murta beat Singh in straight sets 76(6) 63 in 1hr 42mins.
Singh started off confidently breaking Gaspar Murta in the first & third games. Being up 3-0, Singh failed to hold on to his service game. In the fifth game, Singh again failed to capitalize on the breakpoint on Gaspar Murta’s serve and allowed his opponent to get back into the set. Gaspar Murta won four games in a row from down 0-3 to take a lead at 4-3. Singh held his serve and broke Gaspar Murta in the ninth game to go up 5-4.
It was trade of breaks again which pushed the set into a tiebreak. Singh let go two set points when up 6-4 in the tiebreak and allowed Gaspar Murta to take the set.
In the second set, Gaspar Murta broke Singh twice in the third and ninth games to take the set and match. Having lost the first set, Singh showed signs of tiredness physically and mentally to stay and fight back in the second. This was probably a result of him winning titles in the last two weeks and playing maximum matches. A strapped right hand also didn’t help his cause.
After the match Singh said: “I had a great two weeks in Karnataka and couldn’t have asked for more. Gaspar played well today and I congratulate him for the victory. I now would take a few days off, probably in Goa, and head to Chennai for the ATP tour.”
Gaspar Murta’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be eighth seeded Dutchman Jeroen Benard who ousted Abhijeet Tiwari in straight sets.
In other matches, the top seed Sriram Balaji survived a scare when another teenager Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash took the first set in a tiebreak. Balaji won the next at ease with the score reading 67(2) 61 61. Balaji set up a quarterfinal face-off against another Dutch player in Colin Van Beem who had taken out the fifth seeded Russian Sergei Krotiouk in the first round. Van Beem crushed qualifier Rohan Gide 63 60 in another second round match today.
German qualifier Torsten Wietoska who has been enjoying a great run so far in Karnataka, had some anxious moments when Jatin Dahiya, a lucky loser, won the first set. Torsten quickly got his act together though to take the next two sets and the match 57 61 61.
Indian teenager and Dharwad finalist Ramkumar Ramanathan wasted chances to beat the third seeded Greek Theodoros Angelinos when the latter had the upper hand finally at 46 76(1) 6-4. It was a case of Ramanathan beating himself more than his opponent. It was lack of experience on his part and probably goes back with a good lesson learnt.