Divij Sharan clears first hurdle in New York

At opposite ends of the world, Divij Sharan made it to the New York Open qualifier, while Ankita Raina stumbled at the Thailand Open.

By Sandeep Banerjee ·

Indian tennis ace Divij Sharan has cleared his first test at the ATP Tour's New York Open.

Paired up once again with Kiwi teammate Artem Sitak, Divij Sharan beat the American-Croatian duo of Austin Krajicek and Franko Skugor 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 in their round-of-16 match.

The opening set saw a closely-fought duel that stretched out to 12 games, as both sides held serve consistently, with opportunities to break coming just twice.

Sharan suffered a round-of-16 elimination in his last ATP 250 event at the Tata Open Maharashtra.

With the score at 6-6, it set up a tiebreaker, and this was where Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak asserted their authority, forcing three breaks of serve and winning the tie 7-3.

The second set was a far shorter affair, as Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak broke Austin Krajicek and Franko Skugor in the eighth game before holding serve in the ninth to win 6-3.

Ankita Raina’s Thai charge halted

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe in Thailand, after clinching three ITF titles in two weeks, Ankita Raina failed to maintain winning form at the WTA Challenger level.

Competing against Poland's Katarzyna Kawa at the Thailand Open, Ankita Raina lost her round-of-32 match 6-3, 0-6, 1-6.

The opening set belied the eventual outcome, however, as after breaking her Polish opponent two-to-one, Ankita Raina won it 6-3.

After that, though, the proverbial switch was flipped and Katarzyna was as flawless as Ankita Raina was powerless, with the Pole breaking her Indian opponent thrice on the trot and never once allowing Raina to hold serve.

Katarzyna’s comeback push set up a third and final set, where Ankita Raina was once again broken. This time, she did manage to return the favour once, but it was hardly enough to avert a 1-6 defeat.

What’s next for Divij Sharan?

Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak will now face the winner of the round-of-16 match as France's Ugo Humbert and the USA's Jackson Withrow take on the all-American pairing of Steve Johnson and Reilly Opelka.