Bengaluru Open: Two more seeds fall in gruelling 3-setters

Bengaluru, Feb 14 : Japanese third seed Yuichi Sugita and Belarus' 13th seed Ilya Ivashka were both knocked out in gruelling three-setters in the quarter-finals of the Bengaluru Open on Thursday.

22-year-old Italian Julian Ocleppo ousted Ivashka of Belarus in a match that lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes. The final score read 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4 in his favour.

Sugita was beaten by unseeded Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(5), 5-7, 4-6. Bonzi now meets second seed Stefano Travaglia of Italy who overcame a stiff challenge from 11th seed Blaz Rola of Slovakia before prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in 1 hour and 56 minutes.

Ocleppo faces fourth seed James Duckworth of Australia who overcame ninth seed Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2.

Ocleppo was down 2-5 in the opening set after he got broken early in the second game. However, he came back strongly to win three games on the trot to tie at 5-5 and take the set into a tie-breaker which he won.

"My comeback in the first set was very crucial because the match could have ended by the second set," said Ocleppo. After the opponents had traded a break each in the 3rd and 4th games, Ocleppo lost the tie-break even as he had two break points.

A stiff battle ensued in the decider with none giving their rival an inch of ground. The Italian, who was on a break point in the ninth game, hit an awesome down the line shot to surge 5-4 ahead.

"That was my best shot of the match today and it was very crucial," said the winner who held on to his serve to win the match. "I know Ivashka very well both personally and about his game. It is tough to return his serves and he is a very good player who could have won this tournament. I served very well today and once I got used to returning, it became a little easy. I am doubly happy to have beaten him," said Ocleppo.


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Bengaluru Open: Two more seeds fall in gruelling 3-setters