GSL tennis Open: Krstin, Hemery rematch ignites

*Can Brazilians Fabiano De Souza and Fernando Romboli win the double again?

Top seed Calvin Hemery of France Thursday defeated Haadin Bava of India 6-3, 6-2 to book a semi-final spot at the GSL Open Nigeria F3 Futures which will round off on Saturday.

The win now pitched the world’s number 279 Hemery, who is born of Nigerian dad, against Serbian Pedja Krstin, who overpowered Zimbabwe’s Takanyi Garaganga 7-5, 6-2 in another quarter-final match. The other final ticket will be contested between Canadian second seed, Brayden Schnur and Christopher Diaz-Figueroa of Guatemala.

Schnur, who won the Tombim Open Nigeria F1 Futures, outplayed Tunisia’s Moez Echargui 6-3, 6-4 while Diaz-Figueroa puts up a resolute display to upset third seed Italian, Alessandro Bega 6-4, 6-4.

In setting up a rematch with Krstin -who triumphed in the final of the Dayak Championship Nigeria F3 Futures – Hemery seems to be stepping up the gear with each game and he was able to get a breakthrough against the unseeded Asian in the eighth game to lead 5-3 before serving out the set successfully for 6-3.

With his Nigerian root, he expectedly got the larger support and there was no let down for the fans as the 22-year-old broke Bava in the third game, and by the time he completed his serve in the fourth game, a 3-1 lead turned to be a task too much for Bava. And at 4-2, Hemery broke the world number 828 again, this time to love, to extinguish any hope of a fight back.

The second match on Centre Court was tightly-contested up till the final point of the first set which Krstin won 7-5. The Serbian broke from the start and lead 2-0 but Garaganga broke back in the fourth game after a double fault by the world number 346.

With scores at 5-5, a tie-break decider loomed but Krstin broke again to lead 6-5 before wrapping up the set on his serves. In the second set, Garaganga could not hold on for long despite tying 2-2 as he was broken consecutively in the fifth and seventh game as Krstin, the most successful player in the tournament with 12 ITF Futures, closed the encounter 6-2.

The doubles final will see Brazilians Fabiano De Souza and Fernando Romboli having a chance to reclaim the title they won at the Tombim Open following their 6-2, 6-3 win over Kunal Anand and Anvit Bendre of India. They face Moez Echargui and Zimbabwe’s Mark Fynn who defeated Schnur and Benjamin Lock 6-3,3-6, 11-9.

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