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Sports Shorts: Wang survives scare; Nagal enters final round

August 23, 2019 08:05 IST
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Nagal enters final round of US Open qualifiers

India's Sumit Nagal moved one step closer to his first ever Grand slam appearance with a hard fought win over Peter Polansky in the second round of the US Open qualifiers.

Nagal, placed at a career-best 190, knocked out the 192nd ranked Canadian 7-5, 7-6 (0) in two hours eight minutes on Thursday night in the men's singles qualifiers.

The Indian began the match on an attacking note, breaking Polansky in the second game to take an early 2-0 lead but then failed to hold his serve twice, handing back the advantage to the Canadian.

 

However, Nagal fought back to break Polansky twice to take the first set.

The second set followed in a similar pattern with Nagal drawing the first blood but Polanksy came from behind to break back the Indian.

The set went to tie break with Nagal holding his nerve to emerge victorious.

The 22-year-old from Haryana will now take on Brazil's Joao Menezes, who is ranked 210, in the final qualifying round later in the day.

Last year, he had competed in the qualifiers of the Australian Open, the French Open and the Wimbledon Championships but could not register a single win.

This is Nagal's first attempt at making the Grand Slam singles main draw this season in which he enjoyed considerable success and broke into the top-200.

Meanwhile, India's top singles players Prajnesh Gunneswaran got a tough draw as he is up against fifth seed and Cincinnati Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the first round. 

Wang, Siniakova survive early scares to advance to Bronx semis

Wang Qiang

IMAGE:China's Wang Qiang in action during her second round match against Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek.Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Top seed Wang Qiang and fifth ranked Katerina Siniakova both had to battle back from a set down to beat unseeded opponents and advance to the Bronx Open semi-finals on Thursday.

Wang failed to win a game in the opening set against Russia’s Anna Blinkova before storming back to win 0-6, 6-1, 6-4 in 90 minutes.

“I didn’t have too much feeling in the first set,” the Chinese player told reporters. “In the second set, I started again, so I found my way.”

Blinkova did not face a break point in the first set but Wang turned the tables in the second, winning five games in a row after going up a break.

In the final set, Blinkova saved two match points with Wang serving at 5-3 but the top seed set up three more on her opponent’s serve in the next game to clinch the win.

Wang will play Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who beat France’s Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-1.

Siniakova saved two match points in her 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 win over American Bernarda Pera in an encounter that lasted two hours and 27 minutes.

Both players broke each other three times and had nearly identical statistics on serve but it was the second set tiebreak that made the difference for the Czech 23-year-old.

Siniakova will next take on Poland’s unseeded Magda Linette, who beat 10th seed Karolina Muchova 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3) in a match that lasted two hours and 47 minutes.

Winston-Salem quarters postponed due to rain, power outages

The quarter-finals of the Winston-Salem Open have been moved to Friday after heavy rain saw only one match get underway before being suspended, organisers of the North Carolina event said.

Top seed Benoit Paire was leading Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta 4-3 in the opening set of the first quarter-final on Thursday before bad weather rolled in and caused power outages.

The semi-finals will also take place on Friday.

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