It was a happy return to the Bengaluru courts for Sumit Nagal as he progressed to the round of 16 with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Tunisian Malek Jaziri at the Bengaluru Tennis Open on Monday.
Sumit Nagal, who won the singles title in 2017, was imperious in the first set, breaking his opponent three times to wrap up the set in hardly 30 minutes.
However, Malek Jaziri competed better in the second set, breaking Sumit Nagal’s serve in the fifth game but unlike the Indian tennis ace, could not hold his own serve. The eighth-seeded Sumit Nagal fought back hard and had the opportunity to serve for the match when he was up 5-3.
The 22-year-old could not hold serve though but as it had been for much of the fixture, he broke Malek Jaziri in the very next game to close out the tie.
Mixed day for Indian tennis’ young brigade
Lukas Rosol rose to fame in 2012 when he had knocked out the Spaniard in the second round of Wimbledon but he was on the backfoot against the 24-year-old Indian.
Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha broke his opponent’s serve just once in the first set and wrapped it up with that one opening. However, he was given the run-around in the second and ended up losing it quickly.
However, he raced to a 3-0 lead in no time in the deciding seat and rode on that momentum to not allow Lukas Rosol a way back into the tie and set up a pre-quarter tie with Japanese third-seed Yuichi Sugita.
It was a bittersweet day for the other youngsters at the Bengaluru Tennis Open as Abhinav Shanmugam progressed but Anirudh Chandrasekar and Manish Sureshkumar’s campaigns came to an end.
Manish Sureshkumar lost 2-6, 3-6 to Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi in the round of 64.
Anirudh Chandrasekar won his qualifying match on Monday but he seemingly could not deal with the fatigue of playing matches on consecutive days as he fell 2-6, 1-6 to Italian Julian Ocleppo.
Abhinav Shanmugam had no such issues as he made light work of Daniel Masur of Germany, 7-5, 6-3 in their round-of-64 encounter. His next match will be a daunting one though as he faces 17th seed, Ramkumar Ramanathan on Wednesday.
Abhinav Shanmugam had beaten compatriot Rishi Reddy in the qualifiers but the latter found himself in the main draw as a ‘lucky loser’ after Czech Jiri Vesely, who won the singles title at the Tata Open Maharashtra, pulled out citing fatigue.
Rishi Reddy will now face fellow Indian Sidharth Rawat in the round of 32 on Wednesday.
Ilya Ivashka (Blr) bt Sasikumar Mukund (Ind) 7-5, 6-3
Saketh Myneni (Ind) bt Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 6-3, 6-3
Purav Raja (Ind)/Ramkumar Ramanathan (Ind) bt Adil Kalyanpur (Ind)/Prajwal Dev (Ind) 6-2, 6-2
Nikola Milojevic (Srb)/Frederico Silva (Por) bt Sriram Balaji (Ind)/Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (Ind) 6-7, 7-5, 10-8
What next for Indian tennis players at Bengaluru Tennis Open
Defending champion and seventh seed, Prajnesh Gunneswaran will make his bow in this edition of the Bengaluru Tennis Open when he faces off against Germany’s Sebastian Fanselow.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran will also be in action in the doubles, as he and Sumit Nagal will play the pair of Christopher Rungkat and Andre Goransson. However, the biggest attraction will be Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden, who will face Biaz Rola and Zhang Zhizhen.
Saketh Myneni and partner Matt Reid will play the all-Indian pair of Nikshep Ravikumar and Vasisht Cheruku in the other doubles fixture of the day.
Where to watch the Bengaluru Tennis Open
The Bengaluru Tennis Open is being played at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association in Bengaluru and being a part of the ATP’s Challenger Tour, will be streamed live on the ATP website.