Chennai Open: Ramkumar faces Spanish test

Wildcard entrant Ramkumar Ramanathan will take on Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain in the opening round of the 2016 Aircel Chennai Open. The Indian could set up a clash with second seed Kevin Anderson if he can get past the 30-year-old Spaniard.

Ramkumar Ramanathan is the fourth highest ranked Indian in the ATP rankings.   -  R Ragu

Stanislas Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Benoit Paire and Roberto Bautista-Agut, the top four seeds of the upcoming Chennai Open, have received byes in the first round of the event. In the draw that was announced on Saturday, local wildcard Ramkumar Ramanathan was pitted against World No.98 Daniel Gimeno Traver, and in case he pulls off an upset, he will face World No.12 Anderson in the second round.



There’s always pressure, in every match you play, even if it’s in a Futures (International Tennis Federation tournaments) match. It’s about handling it, trying to take the good parts of it, trying to enjoy every point, and give my best.


The 21-year old Ramkumar, ranked 248, played down the prospect of pressure in front of his home crowd. “There’s always pressure, in every match you play, even if it’s in a Futures (International Tennis Federation tournaments) match. It’s about handling it, trying to take the good parts of it, trying to enjoy every point, and give my best.”

Among other Indians, Somdev Devvarman and Saketh Myneni took their first steps towards securing their spot in the main draw by winning their respective qualifying matches without much hassle, in straight sets. Devvarman started sedately, conceding points via double faults and unforced errors, but soon found his groove to defeat N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-2, 6-3.

> Chennai Open: Singles & Doubles Draw

Myneni secured a 6-2, 6-4 win against Sanam Singh via big, booming serves and aggressive groundstrokes. Myneni attempted to be active on the court, and was able to arrive to the net to finish off points more often. Sanam was more competitive in the second set, holding his opponent neck-and-neck until the 10th game of the set. He was close to breaking Myneni’s serve in the seventh game of the second set, when, tied at 3-3, Myneni defended three break points after trailing 0-40, and kept his nerve when the score seemed to stall for a while at the stalemate of deuce.

Devvarman and Myneni will face James Ward of Great Britain and Thomas Fabbiano of Italy on Sunday. Among tight contests in the first round will be between 39-ranked Vasek Pospisil and the 44-ranked Aljaz Bedene, both of whom participated in the prestigious Paris Masters. Borna Coric, seeded eighth for the Chennai Open, will face Marcel Granollers, ranked 84.

Coric indicated he will be wary of his first-round opponent. “I have played against him before in Umag (an ATP 250 tournament in Croatia) and though I won, I didn’t feel too comfortable playing him. So for now, I don’t want to look too far ahead. I have a tough opening match so I guess I’ll just focus on that. It’s going to be hot here and I’m hoping I’ll get a late-night match.”

In the doubles, Rajeev Ram of United States of America and Raaven Klaasen of South Africa, who form the No. 1 seed, will take on Mahesh Bhupathi and Gilles Muller, in the first round. The team of Leander Paes and Marcel Granollers will take on Stanislas Wawrinka and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Results of qualifying matches on Saturday:

Somdev Devvarman (IND) bt N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth (IND) 6-2, 6-3

James Ward (GBR) bt Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 6-4, 6-3

N.Sriram Balaji (IND) [wildcard] bt Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) 6-2, 6-4

Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) bt Mikhail Elgin (RUS) 6-4, 3-1 (Elgin retired)

Saketh Myneni (IND) bt Sanam Singh (IND) 6-2, 6-4

Jozef Kovalik (SVK) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 6-3, 6-0

Ante Pavic (CRO) bt Elias Ymer (SWE) 7-5, 6-2

Alexander Kudryavtsev (RUS) bt Frederik Nielsen (DEN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0