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Mankad enters quarters, to face Lankan Harshana Godamanne

Mumbai, Mar 19 (UNI) Harsh Mankad, returning to the tennis circuit after a lay-off from injury, moved into the quarterfinals of the US 10,000 dollars ITF Futures tournament beating upcoming Indian Navdeep Singh in a tough three setter at 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 at the MSLTA courts here today.

Mankad used his experience and Navdeep's restricted movements to clinch the second round match in three hours and 16 minutes.

Navdeep started the match on a high, getting an early break and countering Mankad's charge at the net with some precise passing shots. Though he failed to serve out the set at 5-4, he won the tie-break 7-4.

Mankad was two points away from defeat at serving 30-30, down 4-5 in the second set. But the Mumbai player made his serve count and then went on to break Navdeep in the 11th game.

Navdeep, the only Indian to qualify for the ATP Mumbai Open last September, said he sprained his hip at the end of the second set and hence could not put up a better fight in the decider.

Mankad will face Sri Lankan giant killer Harshana Godamanne in the quarter-finals. Godamanne, the only Sri Lankan on the ATP list had beaten top seed Bogdan-Victor Leonte in straight sets in the first round and scored another straightforward 6-2, 6-2 win over Vijayant Malik.

Also advancing to the last eight were India's Divij Sharan, seeded fifth, and Purav Raja.

The left-handed Sharan made up for the lack of power with his court craft, using the aggressive lob and fine pick-up volleys, to down the big-serving Rohan Gajjar 7-6, 6-4.

Raja, who knocked out third seed Aqeel Khan in the opening round, continued his impressive run with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 win over Katushi Fukuda of Japan.


Story first published: Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 21:06 [IST]
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