Hall of Fame Open: Ramkumar becomes first Indian to reach ATP World Tour final in 7 years


(Online Desk)

Indian tennis star Ramkumar Ramanathan stormed into the final of the ongoing Hall of Fame Open at Newport in the US on Sunday.

The 23-year-old decimated his American opponent Tim Smyczek 6-4, 7-5 in the semifinals of the Men’s Singles event.

Ramkumar won 72 per cent of his first serve points and an impressive 62 per cent from his second.

In the final, Ramkumar will face the winner of the other semifinal between Spain’s Marcel Granollers and America’s Steve Johnson which is scheduled to happen later today.

The last time an Indian singles star made it to the ATP World Tour final was way back in 2011 when Somdev Devvarman beat South African wildcard Izak van der Merwe in SA Tennis Open semis.  Somdev lost the final to Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson.

The Newport tournament has been a favourite hunting ground for Indians in the past with tennis legend Vijay Amritraj lifting the Hall of Fame Open singles title three times (1976, 1980, 1984).

Interestingly, Vijay Amritraj’s son Prakash Amritraj’s only ATP singles finals appearance also happens to be at Hall of Fame Open in 2008.

If Ramkumar goes on to win the 250 series grasscourt tournament, it will be the first ATP World Tour singles title won by an Indian in 20 years after Leander Paes who won at the same event in 1998.