Sumit Nagal, India’s top-ranked singles player, cruised into the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger with a straight-sets win over Italy’s Giovanni Fonio on Wednesday. The second seed, who recently made his debut at the Australian Open, prevailed 7-5, 6-2 in an hour and 18 minutes.
Nagal, ranked 121 in the world, displayed his confidence and skill from the baseline, hitting some impressive forehand crosscourt winners and serving well. He broke Fonio’s serve in the 12th game of the first set to clinch it 7-5, and then raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, as the Italian’s game started to crumble under pressure.
Nagal will next face Czech Republic’s Dominik Palan, who defeated another Italian, Samuel Vincent Ruggeri, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, in a hard-fought match.
Meanwhile, top seed Luca Nardi of Italy also advanced to the quarterfinals, after overcoming former world number 20 Bernard Tomic of Australia 7-5, 6-3. Nardi, who qualified for the ATP Next Gen Finals last year, showed his composure and consistency, while Tomic looked uninterested and erratic. Nardi will take on his compatriot Stefano Napolitano, the fifth seed, who thrashed France’s Dan Added 6-2, 6-1.
The doubles event saw a strong performance by the Indian players, as eight of them, including three all-Indian pairs, reached the quarterfinals. Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan pulled off the biggest upset of the day, ousting the third seeds Ray Ho of Chinese Taipei and Piotr Matuszewski of Poland 7-6 (3), 6-4.
Fourth seeds Rithvik Choudary Bollipalli and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha, and the wildcard duo of Parikshit Somani and Manish Sureshkumar also won their matches, setting up a quarterfinal clash against each other. Sriram Balaji, seeded number one in the doubles along with German partner Andre Begemann, and Arjun Kadhe, teaming up with Yu Hsiou Hsu of Chinese Taipei, also progressed to the last eight.