In an all-Japanese affair, fourth seeded Toshihide Matsui outlasted his compatriot Arata Onozawa 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 to reach the quarter-finals of the Cambodian $10,000 ITF Futures for the GLF Tep Khunnah Trophy at the National Training Center yesterday.
The vastly experienced Matsui, who figured in last week’s doubles final with his Thai partner Danai Udomchoke, had the young Onozawa on the run in the first set. However, the fourth seed lapsed into critical errors in the second, during which his rival considerably stepped up the tempo and stayed solid behind the baseline.
The touch-and-go decider had to be resolved in a tie-break, where Matsui handled the pressure points with greater degree of confidence than his opponent.
Within 24 hours of his three-set first round battle on Tuesday, second seeded Robin Kern again had to endure a long-drawn contest, this time against Wang Chieu-Fu of Taiwan.
The German winner of last year’s final leg here found Wang in a punishing mood in the first set which for greater part had looked equally poised. But as the match progressed, it was Wang who had to face the full force of Kern’s fury and could hardly find a foothold in the next two sets. The second seed went on to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Top seed Chen Ti put himself in a cruise control mode after wrapping up the first set in quick time, even as his rival Purchya Isarow of Thailand managed to squeeze out one game more in the second to leave the Taiwanese star with an impressive 6-2, 6-3 scoreline.
Last week’s GLF Cham Prasidh Cup winner Ramkumar Ramanathan of India booked his quarter-final place after setting aside a tough second set challenge by Slovakia’s Ivo Klec. The Indian dictated the pace and the rallies in the first set but had to battle hard all the way to a tie break in the second to eventually win 6-3, 7-6.
Another Indian to make an impressive headway was sixth seeded Karunuday Singh who disposed off Austrian Maxi Pongratz 6-3, 6-4.
Russian left-hander Alexander Zhurbin followed his good first round show by beating seventh seeded Takuto Niki of Japan 6-0, 6-4 while Mico Santiago of the United States overwhelmed Kittiphong Wachiramanowong of Thailand 6-1, 6-2.
Quarter-finals will play today at the National Training Centre from 9:30am.