Calcutta: Wild-card entrant Ashwin Vijayragavan came from behind to stun top seed and India No. 12 Vijjay Sundar Prashanth to advance to the semi-finals of the National Grasscourt Championship at South Club on Thursday. Vijayraghavan won 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
Vijayragavan will face third seed Vishnu Vardhan, who got the better of Suraj Prabodh with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. In the other semi-final, Chandril Sood will face Jayaprakash Mohit Mayur.
Prashanth broke serve and led 2-1 before winning the first set 6-4. In the second, Prashanth was 2-0 up with an early break, but Vijayragavan came back and stretched the match to the tie-breaker.
Vijayragavan pulled off the tie-breaker 7-4 to take the match into the deciding third set which was a one-sided affair as he raced to a 4-1 lead and held his serve to seal the deal at 6-3.
“We have faced each other several times and so his game isn’t unknown to me… I’m happy with the way things have progressed,” said Vijayragavan of his victory over the top seed.
Vishnu was optimistic of his chances in the semi-final. “It’s a good sign that I’m improving with every game. Look, playing on grass is never easy because of the unpredictability of the bounce. We have seen what happened to the top seeds (in both men’s and women’s sections). Anything can happen on this surface,” said Vishnu.
“I had a view that the more I play here, the better I will perform. As far as today’s game is concerned, it only established my view,” said Vishnu.
He wasn’t willing to take Vijayraghavan lightly. “Beating Ashwin in the semis won’t be easy as he’s in very good touch, having beaten Vijjay. I have to be on my toes.”
In the women’s singles, unseeded Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy continued her fine run as she breezed past eighth seed Nithyaraj Baburaj with a convincing 6-1, 6-0 victory.
Vaishnavi will face Rushmi Chakravarthi against whom she lost the final two years ago. Rushmi beat fourth seeded Sharmada Balu in a marathon two-hour-55-minute battle 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-5.
MEN: Ashwin Vijayragavan (AP) bt Vijjay Sundar Prashanth (1, TN) 4-6,7-6 (7-4),6-3; Vishnu Vardhan (3, TN) bt Suraj Prabodh (Kar) 6-3,6-4; Chandril Sood (4, UP) bt Rupesh Roy 7-5, 4-6, 6-3; Jayaprakash Mohit Mayur (2, TN) bt Nitten Kirrtane (6, Mah) 6-2,6-3.
WOMEN: Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy (AP) bt Nithyaraj Baburaj (TN) 6-1,6-0; Rushmi Chakravarthi (7, TN) bt Sharmada Balu (4, Kar) 2-6,7-6 (7-2),7-5; Bhuvana Kalva (5, AP) bt Nidhi Chilumula (3, AP) 6-3,6-7 (8), 6-4; Natasha Palha (2, Goa) bt C. Sai Samitha (6, TN) 6-3,6-0