Chennai Open Challenger: Strong start for Indians

Indians got off to a strong start at the Chennai Open Challenger 2019 as Arjun Kadhe, Vijay Sundar Prashanth and Sumit Nagal cruised to the second round in convincing fashion.

Arjun Kadhe in action against Russia's Ivan Nedelko in the first round of the Chennai Open Challenger 2019 on Monday.   -  R. Ragu

Arjun Kadhe and Sumit Nagal cruised through as Vijay Sundar Prashanth overcame a slip up to advance to the second round of the Chennai Open Challenger here on Monday.

Two other Indians, Siddharth Vishwakarma and and Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam went out in the first round, both losing their matches in straight sets.

Kadhe made short work of his Russian opponent Ivan Nedelko, whose service he broke in the very first game of the match. The 25-year-old from Pune was in a good position at 2-0 up in the first set before Nedelko broke back and levelled at 2-2. With a clever drop shot at the net, Kadhe broke in the ninth game to go 5-4 up and easily held serve to close out the set 6-4.

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Kadhe looked more comfortable in the second set, adjusting better to the windy conditions and serving better. Nedelko's returns let him down and it didn't take long for the Indian to wrap up the match 6-4, 6-1.  

Prashanth's match against Carlos Boluda-Purkiss followed a similar script as the Indian broke in the opening game. Prashanth looked good on the backhand as he went about slicing from the back of the court to frustrate the Spaniard who preferred power over precision and he took the first set 6-2.

Vijay Sundar Prashanth was taken the distance by Spain's Carlos Boluda-Purkiss in the first round of the Chennai Open Challenger 2019 on Monday.   -  R. Ragu

The Indian seemed to be caught off guard as Purkiss upped the intensity in the second set. Prashanth fell to too many unforced errors from the same strokes that won him the first set. He found himself 2-0 down as he put a simple forehand wide and lost his service game. He could have returned the favour but squandered four break points in the next game to give Purkiss a healthy 3-0 lead. Purkiss ended up saving a few more break points over the set that ended 6-2 in the his favour and forced the tie to a deciding third set.

The fifth game of the decider saw Purkiss save four break points before being beaten by a brilliant crosscourt forehand from Prashanth. The rest of the set was pretty simple for the Indian, who was aided by a faltering Purkiss. With two aces, Prashanth won his first main draw singles match in a Challenger in over 12 months.

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“I’ve been training here for the past five weeks and I was confident of winning today. I've seen him (Purkiss) play before and I knew his game a little bit and knew what to do,” said Prashant, who will get an ATP ranking for the win after being unranked since the new rules came in.

Nagal had it easier than expected against another Spaniard, David Perez Sanz. Sanz gifted him too many points through unforced errors, helping Nagal take the first set 6-3.

The frustrated Spaniard couldn't seem to get anything going his way as he succumbed to more unforced errors including double faults.

Nagal kept his calm and stuck to the basics to break Sanz twice before finishing the match 6-3, 6-2.


Arjun Kadhe bt Ivan Nedelko 6-4, 6-1; Vijay Sundar Prashant by Carlos Boluda-Purkiss 6-2, 2-6, 6-2; Sumit Nagal bt David Perez Sanz 6-3, 6-2; Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam lost to Renta Tokuda 6-3, 6-4; Siddharth Vishwakarma lost to Blake Ellis 6-2, 6-2; Daniel Altmyer by Daniel Nguyen 6-3, 6-2; Andrew Harris bt Aleksandar Vukic 6-4, 6-4; Sebastian Fanselow bt Tun Lin-Wu 6-4, 7-5; Andrea Pellegrino bt Rubin Statham 6-4, 6-4; Antoine Escoffier bt Evgenii Tiurnev 6-2, 6-2; Nam Hoang Ly bt Bradley Mousley 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-3.


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