Somdev Devvarman assured India of at least a silver by advancing to the semi final but Karan Rastogi went down fighting in a gruelling three-setter against top seed Denis Istomin to crash out of the men's tennis singles competition in the Asian Games on Sunday.
Second seed Somdev defeated China's Ze Zhang 6-4 6-4 in a contest lasting one hour and 51 minutes. Seventh seed Rastogi, on the other hand, lost 2-6 6-4 5-7 in a marathon encounter which took two hours and six minutes to complete.
Somdev was tested initially when Zhang broke him in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead but the Indian broke back to take the upper hand in the 50-minute opening set.
The second set was also a hard-fought affair but it was Somdev who made the most of the opportunities that came his way to end on the winning side.
The Indian was also helped by his rival's weak serve and the inability to convert break points. Zhang also ended up committing 43 unforced errors in the match against Somdev's 27.
The Rastogi-Istomin duel, on the other hand, became alive only after the opening set in which the Indian was simply blown away in 24 minutes.
Rastogi raised his game in the second set and converted two of the five break points he earned to draw level with Istomin. The final set was an engrossing battle and Rastogi gave it his all but the Indian was found wanting when it came to net-play.
Both the players struggled to hold their serve in the decider during which there were five breaks of serve but eventually Istomin managed to come out triumphant.