Paes-Ramkumar to debut at KPIT ATP challenger

Leander Paes and Ramkumar Ramanathan, will open their campaign against India’s top-seeded pair Anvit Bendre and Sidharth Rawat.

Leander Paes

Leander Paes will partner Ramkumar Ramanathan for the first time.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Veteran Leander Paes, 43, and Ramkumar Ramanathan, 21, will debut as a doubles pair in the $50000 KPIT ATP Challenger to be played at the Balewadi Tennis Complex from Monday. Paes and Ramkumar will open their campaign against India’s top-seeded pair Anvit Bendre and Sidharth Rawat. They are seeded behind India’s top-ranked pair Purav Raja and Divij Sharan. There are ten Indian doubles pairs in the draw of sixteen.

"I love the sports loving people of Pune and decided to play in the event which is gradually becoming well known in the international circuit. I'll be playing with young Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan in the doubles," said Paes through an official statement from the tournament organising committee.

Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy is the top-seed in the men’s singles. The winner of the singles will get 80 ATP points and Donskoy ranked 95 in the ATP list could largely benefit should he go on to win the title and a prize money of $ 7200. The fancied Russain will lock horns with India’s Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash in the first round.

The No. 2 seed from Korea, Duckhee Lee, will take on qualifier Hugo Nys of France. India’s No. 3 seed Saketh Myneni is drawn to play Serbia’s Danilo Petrovic. Other Indians in the singles draw are Siddharth Vishwakarma, Sasi Kumar Mukund, fifth seed Ramkumar, Sumit Nagal, Sriram Balaji, Prajnesh Gunneswaran,Hadin Salim Bava, Vijay Sundar Prashanth, Ranjit Virali-Murugesan (qualifier), Sidharth Rawat, Sanam Singh and Vinayak Sharma Kaza.

Vishnu Vardhan, Dhruv Sunish and Jayesh Pungliya have been awarded wild card entries.

Seeds for men's singles: 1. Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) 2. Duckhee Lee (Kor) 3. Saketh Myneni (Ind) 4. Adrian Menendez- Maceiras (Esp) 5. Ramkumar Ramanathan (Ind) 6. Nikola Milojevic (Srb) 7. Dmitry Popko (Kaz) 8. Prajnesh Gunneswaran (Ind)

Men’s doubles (all Indians): 1. Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 2. Leander Paes and Ramkumar. Ramanathan 3. Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh 4. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth.

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