Sharan, Nagal, Balaji make it into Prague Open doubles quarter-finals

Indian doubles players had a good day in office in the Round of 16 at the Prague Open 2020 tennis tournament.

By Utathya Nag

Three of the four men's doubles quarter-finals at the Prague Open are set to feature Indian tennis players, with Divij Sharan, Sumit Nagal, and N Sriram Balaji all making it into the final eight with different partners.

Divij Sharan and his Dutch partner Robin Haase, the top seeds in men's doubles at the clay-court event, cruised past the all-Czech team of Jonas Forejtek and Michael Vrbensky 6-3, 6-2 in their Round of 16 match.

Sharan and Haas are due to play another Czech duo in Jiri Lehecka and Tomas Machac in the quarters.

Divij Sharan

World No. 127 Sumit Nagal, who faces Stan Wawrinka in the singles quarter-finals, had a far tougher time in his doubles pre-quarterfinal fixture.

The 23-year-old Nagal and his Belarusian partner Ilya Ivashka had to dig deep against the No. 3 seeded team of New Zealand's Artem Sitak and Slovakia's Igor Zelenay.

The Indo-Belarusian duo lost the first set 6-3 but reversed the score in the second to level things up. In a closely-fought decider, Nagal and Ivashka triumphed 10-8 to advance to the last eight.

In the quarters, Nagal and Ivashka will face the French pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Arthur Rinderknech, who beat Romania's Ruben Bemelmans and Germany's Daniel Masur in the Round of 16.

Another Indian who will feature in the doubles quarters is N Sriram Balaji.

Having teamed up with Belgium's Kimmer Coppejans, the duo clinched another tight 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 victory over Argentina's Andres Molteni and Monegasque Hugo Nys – the second seeds.

Balaji and Coppejans will clash against Canadian Steven Diez and Slovenian Blaz Rola in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

In the other quarter-finals, Sweden’s Andre Goransson and Portugal’s Goncalo Oliveira will lock horns against the all-Czech duo of Zdenek Kolar and Lukas Rosol.

The Prague event at the Cesky Lawn Tennis Klub in the Czech capital, along with the Internazionali di Tennis Citta di Todi in Italy, mark the return of the ATP Challenger Tour after a long five-month COVID-19 enforced hiatus.