India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan went down fighting to Taro Daniel in the opening round of ATP 250 event in Singapore on Monday.
Playing his first tour event in more than a year, Ramkumar battled for more than two hours but eventually lost 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 to Daniel.
Since the men’s tour resumed in August after a six-month hiatus due to the pandemic, Ramkumar has mainly played on the Challenger circuit. But the former ATP finalist gave Daniel, who at World No 120 is ranked 80 places higher than the Indian, a run for his money on his return to the ATP events.
The Indian overcame a set’s deficit and held his nerve to win the tie-breaker 7-3 in the second set.
Despite serving 15 aces though, Ramkumar’s serve was broken twice in the match. His opponent meanwhile saved both the break points he faced. In the decider, Daniel did not allow Ramanathan any chance to settle as he closed it to take with ease to the match.
Ramkumar had lost to Tung-Lin Wu in the second round of Australian Open qualifiers last month.
The 26-year-old had become the first Indian tennis player to reach ATP world tour singles final since Somdev Devvarman when he reached the Newport final in 2018. He is also one of the core members of the Indian Davis Cup squad.
Meanwhile, earlier in the Singapore Tennis Open qualifying, veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna made an appearance in singles after more than four years. He lost to third-seeded Christopher Eubanks from the United States 3-6, 4-6 in straight sets in the first round of the qualifying event.
Bopanna will be next seen in action in the Singapore Tennis Open men's doubles match on Tuesday.