Prakash first Indian in ATP Tour semis after Paes

July 11th, 2008 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Port (Rhode), July 11 (IANS) Prakash Amritraj Friday became the first Indian to reach the semi-finals of an ATP Tour event in a decade eliminating compatriot Rohan Bopanna in the quarter-finals of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships here. The last Indian to play the semi-finals here was Leander Paes who went on to win the title in 1998.

Prakash, who entered the grass-court event as a wildcard, did not face a single break point in his 6-4, 6-3, victory over qualifier Bopanna who Thursday knocked out top- seeded American Mardy Fish.

This is the first time Prakash and Bopanna clashed in an ATP Tour event. The two had tied 1-1 in the Challengers.

Prakash, ranked 305, on the ATP charts, now plays Canada’s top ranked player, seventh seed Frank Dancevic, who saved all the six break points he faced in a 7-5, 6-3 win over Russian Igor Kunitsyn.

Bopanna, however, entered the doubles semi-finals as he and his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi beat South African Kevin Anderson and American James Cerretanu 7-6 (4), 3-6, 10-7.

Bopanna and Qureshi will face the winners of the match between wildcards Amritraj and Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and South African Rik De Voest and Ashley Fisher of Australia.

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