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Indian Qualifier Stuns Fish, Extends 'Casino Curse'

Newport, R.I., U.S.A.

Rohan BopannaMike BazRohan Bopanna In Action

Indian qualifier Rohan Bopanna upset top-seeded American Mardy Fish 7-6(6), 7-5 on Wednesday to surge into the quarterfinals of the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport. Bopanna served 14 aces, saved seven of nine break points and fought off one set point at 5/6 in the first-set tie-break to advance to the first ATP-level quarterfinal of his career.

The Bangalore resident, who came into the tournament at No. 374 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, has won just nine ATP matches.

Fish becomes the latest victim of the 'Casino Curse'. No top seed in the tournament's 31-year history has ever won the event. Bopanna said: "I continued the curse. I am sorry about that.

“I was not concerned about what ranking he was," Bopanna added. "I just went out there and played my game. I was aggressive and kept it simple. Every time you achieve something new (getting to a quarterfinal) it is exciting, and something you cherish. I cannot cherish it for too long, for I have to play again tomorrow.”

Fish said: “If you told me I was going to break him twice, I would have felt comfortable thinking I had a good chance to win the match.

“Some guys have success here, where elsewhere, with true bounces, they do not succeed. It is extremely disappointing. I have never played well here. I so, so, so desperately want to do well here. Every year, I come in thinking I have the game and I am ready. Every year I leave here scratching my head.”

In a double success for India, Prakash Amritraj also reached the quarterfinals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over American Jesse Levine. With Amritraj and Bopanna set to clash in the quarterfinals, India is guaranteed to have a player in the semifinals.

Amritraj said: “I like to serve and volley, and doubles is the best practice for that... The person who puts more pressure on the opponent wins the match. I tried to be aggressive and come to net.”

Fourth-seed Russian Igor Kunitsyn dropped just four points on his first serve in a 6-1, 6-1 win over Russian Mikhail Ledovskikh.

Seventh-seeded Canadian Frank Dancevic rallied from a set down to oust American qualifier Brendan Evans 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(3). “He played great. This was probably one of the best matches of his (Evans') life. I could tell as the sets got closer that he was becoming nervous. Until then he was solid with penetrating volleys. It gives me confidence to get through close matches.”


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