Sixth-seeded Josh Goodall of England turned out to be Yang Tsung-hua’s bogey man this week, knocking out the Taiwanese top seed 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the Cambodian $10,000 ITF Futures for the GLF Cham Prasidh Cup at the National Training Center yesterday.
Yang, who was sent out of last week’s Ford Cup by Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke at the same stage, rallied back after losing the first set without much of a fight, to get his teeth into the match.
But the tall and hard serving Goodall, who was among the top five British players last year, made a winning breakthrough in the sixth game of the decider when he broke Yang’s serve to lead 4-2.
It was when serving for the match at 5-3 that Goodall, who at 28 also doubles as a coach for one of his fellow countryman on this tour, showed nerves of steel. He was quickly down 0-40, just the kind of a break back Yang was gunning for.
However, in the most spectacular fashion possible, the Brit pulled himself out of trouble.
Sharpening his focus like he had never done in the match before, Goodall won five points in a row to set up a match point and polished it off in style by firing an ace past Yang, who a few games earlier had picked up a racket abuse warning from the chair umpire.
The sixth seed will now meet Ramkumar Ramanathan of India, who produced two contrasting sets to get the measure of Cho Soong-jae of South Korea 6-0, 7-5.
The recent winner of a similar event in the central Indian city of Raipur, Ramanathan came within a point of allowing Cho, who was serving for the second set, a chance to keep the fight going. But once the Korean missed out on consolidation, Ramanathan tightened his hold.
In the other half of the draw, German Robin Kern left his first week’s disappointing early exit behind and clinched a semi-final spot at the expense of Japan’s Yusuke Watanuki 6-4, 6-3.
Having won the Cambodian F3 and lifted the GLF Tep Khunnah Trophy last year, the big-serving Kern will take on second-seeded Hiroki Kondo for a place in Saturday’s final. Kondo of Japan overcame a second-set scare before sizing up Ivo Klec of Slovakia 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the day’s last quarter-final match.
Playing from 9:30am at the National Training Centre
Josh Goodall (ENG) v Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND)
Hiroki Kondo (JAP) v Robin Kern (GER)