Alexandar Lazarov stormed into the men’s singles quarter-finals of the ATP Tennis Challenger, being held at the Public Security Officers Club courts in Gudaibiya.
The 24-year-old Bulgarian halted a comeback by his Bosnian opponent Nerman Fatic to clinch a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory in a well-contested round-of-16 match yesterday.
“This is my first visit to Bahrain and I am so pleased with how welcoming are people here and the overall standard of organisation for this tournament,” said Lazarov.
“From the moment we arrived at the hotel we were overwhelmed with the kindness and efficiency of the organisers in Bahrain and how the competition has been running smoothly since day one,” he added.
Lazarov was joined in the quarter-finals by India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, Jay Clarke of Britain and Goncalo Oliveira of Portugal who picked up well-earned victories on the fifth day of action.
Sixth seed Ramanathan, aged 27, lived up to his billings by defeating Croatia’s Duje Ajdukovic 6-2, 6-4 to secure a deserved place in the quarter-finals.
Clarke faced less resistance from his Italian opponent Mattei Viola before emerging winner 6-2, 6-1.
In the fourth singles game of the day, Oliveira put on a superb show to edge Antoine Escoffier in a three-set thriller – 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-4.
The quarter-finals of the doubles event was also staged last night as Greece’s Michail Pervolarakis and Maximilian Neuchrist of Austria scored an upset win over top seed Austrians Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler to reach the semi-finals after a neck-and-neck clash.
The tournament’s top seeds started the game well and took the first set with ease 6-2. However, Neuchrist and Pervolarakis made a spirited comeback to claim the second and third sets 6-4, 9-11 and with it the match.
Third-seeded Indian pair of N Sriram Balaji and Divij Sharan lived up to expectations, beating Yu Hsiou Hsu of Taipei and Uzbekistan’s Khumoyun Sultanov 6-3, 7-6 (4) reach semis.
India’s other pair of Arjun Kadhe and Ramkumar Ramanathan, who are seeded fourth, continued to excel and progressed into the semi-finals with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 victory over Alexander Cozbinov of Moldova and Marek Gengel of Czech Republic.
In another match, Portugal tandem Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral defeated Geoffrey Blancaneraux of France and Australia’s Artem Sitak 6-4, 6-2.