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Asian Games 2023: Sumimt Nagal, Ankita Raina reach tennis QF, Rutuja Bhosale knocked out

Indian tennis contingent had mixed returns on Tuesday

The two Indians moved one step closer to singles gold by reaching the quarterfinals at the Asian Games on Tuesday. Counterpuncher Sumit Nagal blunted the challenge of big-serving Beibit Zhukayev with his endurance, and Ankita Raina easily outgunned Adithya P Karunaratne.

While Raina easily defeated her Hong Kong opponent in the third round of the women’s singles competition with a score of 6-1 6-2, Kazakhstan’s Zhukayev struggled to manage the points against Nagal for a 7-6 (9) 6-4 victory.

Bronze medals in the tennis competition at the Olympics are guaranteed for the semifinalists. The Asian Games put an end to Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rutuja Bhosale’s singles campaign, though. It was fun to see Nagal go around the court and his incredible retrieving skills as Zhukayev attempted drop shots multiple times but Nagal consistently reached the ball to score. Nagal maintained the ball in play since he always had the edge if the points were lengthy despite Zhukayev’s big serves and groundstrokes, who were also hitting them with a lot of force.

After fending off two set chances, Nagal won the first set by hitting a wide backhand that Zhukayev couldn’t return and volleyed wide while attempting to score. Nagal gained an early lead after a break in the second set’s fourth game, leading 4-1. Nagal escaped two breakpoints in the drawn-out seventh game, but the Kazakh eventually won with a forehand winner down the line.

However, Bhosale and her partner Karman Kaur Thandi bowed out of the women’s doubles after a 5-7, 2-6 defeat against Thailand’s Anchisa Chanta and Punnin Kovatitukted in 1 hour and 59 minutes.

In the second women’s doubles match, third seed Ankita Raina and Gulabrao Thombare were knocked out by Thailand in straight sets.

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