Despite being the top-ranked Indian participant at the moment, younger Sasikumar Mukund wasn’t picked for the World Group playoff Davis Cup tie in opposition to hosts Denmark this February because the Indian crew control selected to move with Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sumit Nagal, Yuki Bhambri and Rohan Bopanna.
Mukund did not let that hose down his spirits despite the fact that. At the Delhi ITF match final week, he received a just right first set in opposition to Australian Blake Ellis 6-3 within the first spherical prior to shedding the second one set by way of 4-6. However, he was once compelled to retire at 0-4 within the set after complaining of a few respiring issues.
Also learn | Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina cruise into Miami Open 3rd spherical
But on Friday, the India No. 3 confirmed that he had regrouped smartly and sailed into the semi-finals of the ITF $25K Men’s Open with a convincing win over 2d seed Oliver Crawford 7-6, 6-2 on the Ekana Sportz City. Mukund performed sensibly and blended up his sport at the same time as his American opponent piled at the mistakes.
Mukund fired in 11 aces, together with seven within the first set and transformed one hundred pc of the breakpoint alternatives that got here his approach to win in a single hour and 32 mins. It was once neck-and-neck within the first set prior to the Indians received it in a tie-break. But in the second one set, Mukund was once everywhere his opponent as he raced to a 4-2 lead prior to pocketing the set 6-2.
“It was one of the best matches since the pandemic began. I am happy to play at this level and aim to play like this throughout the season,” said Mukund. “It was an important win and I am happy with the way I played today. There was no special plan as such in the match. I wanted to play my natural tennis so I just kept my cool and hit the ball in the right spots,” he added.
Mukund has been enjoying Challengers for the previous couple of years and enjoying the ITF occasions turns out to have given him self belief in addition to necessary ATP issues.
“I didn’t think too much about the match today and for me, every match is fun to play. For sure, it’s a new beginning for me after Covid,” Mukund mentioned.
He, then again, mentioned lacking the Davis Cup tie in opposition to Denmark final month wasn’t a unhappiness for him. “Not in reality upset. I at all times consider that the crew must win and everyone is similarly just right. Now, do not suppose an excessive amount of about that,” mentioned Mukund, who has been in reality operating on his tennis beneath the steering of his Austrian trainer this present day.
The two different Indians within the quarterfinals misplaced in directly units. Home favourite Siddharth Vishwakarma went down preventing to peak seed Hoang Nam Ly of Vietnam 6-7, 3-6 while Karan Singh was once overwhelmed by way of former global no 65 Evgeny Donskoy of Russia additionally in directly units 7-5, 6-2.
The fourth quarterfinal between the 2 Ukrainians noticed them combating for each level prior to 7th seed Eric Vanshelboim brushed apart fourth seed Vladyslav Orlov 6-4, 6-2 in directly units. Now, within the semi-finals slated for Saturday, Mukund meets Donskoy and Vanshelboim locks horns with Nam Ly.
Singles (quarterfinals): Sasikumar Mukund (IND) bt Oliver Crawford (USA) 7-6, 6-2; Eric Vanshelboim (UKR) bt Vladyslav Orlov (UKR) 6-4, 6-2; Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Karan Singh (IND) 7-5, 6-2; Hoang Nam Ly (VIE) bt Siddharth Vishwakarma (IND) 7-6, 6-3.
Doubles (semi-finals): Parikshit Somani-Manish Suresh Kumar (Ind) bt SD PrajwalI Dev-Sai Karteek Reddy 7-5, 6-0; Blake Ellis (AUS)-Shuichi Sekiguchi (JPN) bt Rithvik Choudary-Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) 6-2, 7-6.