Tom Jomby produced a rock-solid performance to beat Danylo Kalenichenko of Ukraine in straight sets and progress to the semifinals of the GSL Open in Abuja on Friday.
The third-seeded Frenchman, who’s now extended his winning streak to 8 matches and racked up 16 consecutive set wins, took down Kalenichenko 6-4, 6-3 in 69 minutes on Centre Court.
Jomby and Kalenichenko began the match by exchanging breaks, with the latter breaking first and the Frenchman returning the favour immediately to keep things even. Jomby would break in the 10th game to clinch the set. Kalenichenko, bidding to exact revenge for his defeat in the Dayak final a week ago, couldn’t find a way back into the match, as Jomby broke in the fourth game of the second set to go 3-1 up and then kept his nose in front for the remainder of the contest to clinch victory.
The 28-year-old Frenchman will next take on 18-year-old Simon Yitbarek of Sweden, who advanced after top seed, Sadio Doumbia, retired due to injury, while the Swede led 7-6(4), 3-1.
Both players went toe-to-toe in the first set to guide it into a tie-breaker, which Yitbarek sealed to take the set. In the second set, the Swedish teenager started off strongly and raced into a 3-0 lead. Doumbia would hold serve in the fourth game for 1-3, before retiring shortly after, dashing any hopes there might have been of an all-French semi-final showdown.
Yitbarek is now into his first career semifinals on the ITF World Tennis Tour without completing a singles match. All three opponents he’s faced en route to the semis have retired injured midway through their encounter.
Elsewhere, France’s Dan Added advanced to his third consecutive semifinals in Abuja, following a well-fought 7-5, 7-6(4) victory over Brazilian, Pedro Sorgi, keeping alive his hopes of securing a first title on the ITF World Tour.
Both men had come into the match without the loss of a set. And they began strongly, each man holding his own until the 12th game, where Added carved out the all-important break to take the set. Things went with serve in the second set to ensure a tie-breaker. And it was Added who played the better tennis when it mattered though, to close out the match in an hour and 45 minutes and set up a semifinal clash with Niels Lootsma.
Lootsma, the seventh-seeded Dutchman, rallied from a set down to beat Gilbert Soares Junior of Brazil 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, powering down 30 aces in the process to reach the last four.
The Dutchman had broken in the eight game of the first set for a 5-3 lead. However, nerves crept in as he was serving for the set, and Soares Junior broke back immediately and consolidated with a hold to level matters. The Brazilian would go on to clinch the set via a tiebreaker.
Lootsma bounced back in the second set, breaking in the very first game and again in the ninth game to clinch the set and force a decider. He would break in the fourth game of the deciding set to open up a 3-1 lead and then kept his foot on the gas to power to victory in 2 hours and 9 minutes and stay on track for a second title this year.
In the doubles event, the Indian pair of Arjun Kadhe and Sundar Prashanth needed just 40 minutes to beat the Ukrainian-Dutch pair of Danylo Kalenichenko and Niels Lootsma 6-3, 6-2 and advance to the final, where they’ll face the French-Greek duo of Dan Added and Michail Pervolarakis.
Added and Pervolarakis walked over the French pair of Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul, who were unable to compete given Doumbia’s injury.
Meanwhile, on account of reaching the final, Dan Added will now become the world number one on the ITF Doubles Rankings.