Tata Maharashtra Open: Saketh Myneni through to main draw

Saketh Myneni fought off a stiff challenge from Egor Gerasimov to advance to the main draw of the ATP Maharashtra Open.

Saketh Myneni will face Benoit Paire in the first round of the ATP Maharashtra Open 2019.   -  R. Ragu

Saketh Myneni advanced to the main draw of the ATP Maharashtra Open after defeating Egor Gerasimov in the men's singles qualification match here on Sunday.

For the second time in two days, Myneni had to play through three sets to progress to the next round. He defeated Taiwan's Jason Jung 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 on Saturday, before winning 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 today.

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Myneni won the first set 6-4 and took a medical timeout at the changeover. He had a physiotherapist attend to some stiffness in his right arm but assured that it was nothing to worry about. "I just wanted the physio to look at it in the break after the set. I did not want to disturb the rhythm of the match in the middle of the first set," he said post the match.

Having taken a 4-1 lead in the second, Myneni adopted a defensive game and was punished by his Belarusian opponent, who came back to make it 4-4. Gerasimov went on to take the set 7-6 and pushed the tie to a deciding third set.

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Myneni was in a spot of bother when he trailed 4-5 in the third set, but he held his nerve and didn't allow Gerasimov to play towards the base line like he did in the second set to draw parity at 6-6 and force the match to a tiebreaker.

The Indian wild card entrant attacked from the front and clinched the tie-breaker 7-4 and sealed the win after two hours and 31 minutes.

Myneni will face fifth seeded Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round.