Indian Tennis Weekly #5 – Purav Raja Reaches ATP Doubles Finals

Purav Raja was the big story of the last week in Indian tennis as the Indian reached the finals of the PZB Zagren Indoors in Zagreb, Croatia while Somdev Devvarman had another early loss in Australia.

Purav Raja

Purav Raja reached the finals in Zagreb last week

Purav Raja Reaches Second Career Final

29-year-old Raja and partner Fabrice Martin reached the doubles final in Zagreb, where they were beaten by Marin Draganja and Henri Kontinen 4-6, 4-6 in the championship match. Raja/ Martin’s run included a win over the strong pairing of top seeds Robert Lindstedt and Marcin Matkowski, in the quarter finals.

This was only Raja’s second ATP level final and puts him on the brink of entering the Top 100 once again. Meanwhile, at the Open Sud de France, Raja’s former partner Divij Sharan and Frank Moser lost in first round to fourth seeds Colin Fleming and  Jonathan Marray.

Another Early Exit for Somdev Devvarman

Devvarman, who celebrates his 30th birthday later this week, was knocked out in the first round of the ATP Challenger in Burnie, Australia by a Kiwi qualifier Finn Tearney, who is ranked No. 1602 in the world. Devvarman was up 6-1, 5-3 in the match but went on to lose in three sets. Devvarman and Sanam Singh did manage to reach the doubles semi-finals where they were beaten by second seeds Radu Albot/ Matthew Ebden.

Meanwhile, at the ITF Futures in Sri Lanka, 17-year-old Sumit Nagal reached the quarter-finals, which included a win over eighth seed Christopher Rungkat, before losing to third seed Miljan Zekic. Seventh seed Karunuday Singh also won a round before losing in the second round.

Sharmadaa Balluu Reaches Doubles Final in Tunisia

Sharmadaa Balluu and Michoka Ozeki

Sharmadaa Balluu and Michoka Ozeki with their runners-up trophy in Tunisia

At the ITF women’s event in Tunisia, Sharmadaa Balluu and Michoka Ozeki reached the doubles final where they were beaten by Deborah Chiesa/ Beatrice Lombardo. Balluu lost in the first round of the singles draw to the eventual champion Marie Benoit of Belgium. At the ITF Egypt event, Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal reached the second round.

Rankings Update –

It’s not a good week for the Indians in the rankings as Somdev Devvarman drops 11 spots to No. 147, Saketh Myneeni drops 23 spots to No. 257 and Sriram Balaji drops 10 spots to No. 359.  In doubles, Leander Paes holds steady at No. 23, Rohan Bopanna holds steady at No. 25 and Raja climbs 6 spots to No. 101.

Among the women, Ankita Raina drops 3 spots to No. 242 in the singles and 3 spots to No. 265 in doubles while Sania Mirza stays put at No. 6 in doubles.

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