ATP Pune: Jiri Vesely saves two MP's. Ricardas Berankis and James Duckworth advance



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ATP Pune: Jiri Vesely saves two MP's. Ricardas Berankis and James Duckworth advance

The semi-final line-up in Pune is completed, with three players chasing the first ATP crown and the other one who earned the first and only at the beginning of 2015! Jiri Vesely is the only ATP champion left in the draw and by only just, fending off two match points against Ilya Ivashka in a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 triumph.

The Czech won nine points more overall, fending off three out of five break chances and delivering three breaks from ten opportunities, gathering momentum after the second set but having to dig deep in the decider to find himself in the semis.

Vesely squandered two break chances in the eighth game of the final set before that roller coaster tie break that saw 24 points and a lot of drama and excitement. Jiri saved those match points at 5-6 and 9-10, converting the fifth match point at 12-11 to seal the deal and stay on the course for the second title in a career.

In the battle of the seeds, Ricardas Berankis took down Yuichi Sugita 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 16 minutes, staying focused in the second set tie break where he had no room for errors and dominating in the deciding set with breaks in games two and eight for the place in the semis.

It is the best result for the Latvian since Dubai last year when he reached the last eight, passing the quarter-final obstacle for the first time since Moscow 2017 when he was the finalist. In another clash between the seeded players, Egor Gerasimov prevailed against Soonwoo Kwon 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes, hitting 18 aces and repelling three out of five break chances.

The Korean stayed in touch after losing serve twice as well, missing a massive opportunity in the 11th game of the second set that could have sent him closer to the finish line and suffering an early break in the final set that Gerasimov converted into a triumph.

The 6th seed James Duckworth will play in the first ATP semi-final, beating Roberto Marcora 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 28 minutes. The Aussie grabbed just three points more than the Italian, facing only one break point and stealing the rival's serve twice to seal the deal in straight sets.

Marcora got broken in the fourth game of opener to push the opponent in front, pulling the break back in the very last moment in set number two at 4-5 to reach a tie break that James clinched 7-4 with a single mini-break.