Bengaluru Open: Prajnesh to face Ivan Nedelko in opener

Defending champion Sumit Nagal, who needed a wild card into the main draw, will start his title defence against Brit Jay Clarke, whom he beat in last year’s final.

Prajnesh, at least on paper, has a relatively easy path to the quarterfinal.   -  PTI

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, World No. 141 and the highest-ranked Indian in the fray, will open his singles campaign at the $150,000 Bengaluru Open Challenger against Russian Ivan Nedelko (No. 264). 

The fourth seed, at least on paper, has a relatively easy path to the quarterfinal, clubbed as he is alongside three qualifiers in his quarter.

At the draw ceremony held here on Saturday, it also emerged that defending champion Sumit Nagal, who needed a wild card into the main draw, will start his title defence against Brit Jay Clarke, whom he beat in last year’s final.

Wild cards Adil Kalyanpur and Saketh Myneni will take on each other in the first round while local lad Suraj Prabodh, who won the wild card tournament last month, will meet sixth-seeded Frenchman and World No. 145 Quentin Halys.

The singles field is led by Moldova’s Radu Albot (No. 100) but has lost considerable sheen following the pull outs of Australian World No. 73 Jordan Thompson, who beat Andy Murray at Queen's Club earlier this year, and Russian World No. 97 Evgeny Donskoy, who has a victory over Roger Federer to his name (Dubai, 2017).

Italian Simone Bolelli, who won the 2015 Australian Open doubles title with Fabio Fognini, is also missing.

Meanwhile in qualifying, as many as five Indians Siddharth Vishwakarma, V.M. Ranjeet, Arjun Kadhe, Sasikumar Mukud and Aryan Goveas advanced to the second round.

Qualifying results (first round, Indians unless specified): Youssef Hossam (Egy) bt S.D. Prajwal Dev 7-6 (3), 6-3; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Chien-hsun Lo (Tpe) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5; V.M. Ranjeet bt Niki Poonacha 7-5, 6-3; Sebastian Fanselow (Ger) bt Manish Sureshkumar 6-1, 6-2; Mick Lescure (Fra) bt Arjun Kadhe 6-4, 4-6, 6-2; Lucas Gerch (Ger) bt Nitin Kumar Sinha 6-3, 6-4; Sasi Kumar Mukund bt Michael Zhu (USA) 6-2, 6-0; Aryan Goveas bt Karunuday Singh 6-3, 6-7 (4), 4-1 (retd.); Zizou Bergs (Bel) bt Vasisht Cheruku 6-4, 6-3; Benjamin Hassan (Ger) bt Sidharth Rawat 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-3.

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