Ramkumar Ramanathan's final jinx continues

Falling at the final hurdle
Ramkumar has lost a final on the Challenger circuit for the fifth successive time. File photo: AFP
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Eckental (Germany): Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan yet again settled for a runner-up finish on the Challenger circuit, losing the final of the Eckental event to American Sebastian Korda, here on Sunday.

The unseeded Indian, celebrating his 26th birthday, lost the summit clash 4-6, 4-6 to his seventh seed rival, ranked 135, in one hour and 23 minutes.

It is now the fifth time that Ramkumar has lost a final on the Challenger circuit.

His previous runner-up finishes came at Tallahassee (April, 2017), Winnetka (July, 2017), Pune (November, 2017) and Taipei (April, 2018).

Nevertheless, it was Ramkumar's best performance of the 2020 season for which he earned Euro 7200 as prize money and 60 points that will push him to 185 from 206 in the ATP singles ranking charts.

His serve also looked decent in this tournament and he won many points by charging to the net. Playing indoors also helped the Indian.

It was a tight contest, where killer instinct tilted it in favour of Korda, who has risen in ranks quite nicely since turning pro in 2018.

In the second set, serving at 4-4 and up 40-0, Ramkumar lost five straight points to drop his serve. Korda's stunning return winners made the difference.

Korda got to the match point with an ace, and clinched it when Ramkumar 's forehand return crashed on to the net. 

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