Johnson Shrugs Off Shoulder Injury To Win Second 2018 Title

Ramkumar Ramanathan enters semifinals for first time

India's Ramkumar Ramanathan extended his dream run at the Hall of Fame Open, reaching his maiden ATP World Tour singles final with a straight-set win over Tim Smyczek in Newport, USA. In fact, Newport appears to be lucky for Indian competitors once every decade - Prakash Amritraj made his only career singles final at the same tournament in 2008.

Ramkumar will face Australian Tim Amyczek in semi final. Ranked 161st in the world, he aimed to become the first Indian ATP titlist since Leander Paes was victorious at the same tournament two decades ago. Following the semi-final win, he admitted that the experience of playing on the ATP circuit is bearing fruit. "The confidence grows. It's nice to be able to build on some of the things that I did well in my earlier rounds", Smyczek said.

Ramkumar, who has dropped one set all week on the way to his first ATP World Tour final, fired seven aces to the American's four in the 90-minute match. The wet weather had a role to play on the baseline with erratic bounces and slips and slides at different passages in the match. A passing shot and a return at the feet later, Johnson had the chance to bag the first set. After the first set went on serve for ten games, Johnson broke following an error filled game by Ramkumar. He didn't have any trouble in closing out the opener.




Speaking of Ramanathan after the match, Steve Johnson said, "He came out and served great".

Johnson broke in the second game of the final set, hitting a forehand-cross victor to close the game.

Johnson, who triumphed on clay in Houston earlier this year, relied on his big serve to win 83 percent of first-serve points and wrap up the final in the only US-based grasscourt ATP event in just under two hours.

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