Ramanathan, Nagal through to second round

Ramkumar Ramanathan who made his Davis Cup debut against Spain last month took one hour and 38 minutes to subdue the Russian in three sets at 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

Ramanathan will now meet France’s Sadio Doumbia, who had accounted for Sasi Kumar Mukund in the second round.   -  Special Arrangement

Ramkumar Ramanathan, the No. 5 seed had to stretch himself a bit, put it across Russia’s Alexander Zhubrin in the first round of the $ 50,000 KPIT-MSLTA Challenger tournament at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old who made his Davis Cup debut against Spain last month took one hour and 38 minutes to subdue the Russian in three sets at 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. Ramanathan will now meet France’s Sadio Doumbia, who had accounted for Sasi Kumar Mukund in the second round.

The Chennai-based Ramanathan made short work of his rival in the last game of the match; he served two aces and executed a passing shot to clinch the match. Zhubrin, with an ATP ranking of 621 was unyielding right through.

"He’s a left hander and the ball swings so it’s always tricky. The bounce was pretty good. It’s a fast court. If you can hold your serves, it can be close with anyone. In such courts, you should always be focused. It’s just a matter of few points here and there.

"I was 4-3 on with serve in the second set. A couple of mistakes from me and I lost the set. The same way in the third set, a lapse of two or three points from him made me win the match," said Ramanathan who is looking to spend some quality time in Spain in December to work out his fitness.

One of India’s promising young player Sumit Nagal, recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the first set to get the better of Spain’s Marc Giner in straight sets and N.Vijay Sundar Prashanth taught a few lessons to wild card competitor Jayesh Pungliya in one hour of controlled tennis.

But Sriram Balaji was not as lucky; he went down to Serbia’s Nikola Milojevic. Nagal, Prashanth and Ramanathan are assured of seven ATP points. The No. 2 seed, Korea’s Duckhee Lee was a clear winner against Frenchman Hugo Nys whose game fell apart after he had snatched the second set in tie-breaker.

The men’s doubles the top seeded pair in Purav Raja and Divij Sharan faced fine competitors in France’s Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul and won their first round match. Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan beat the No.3 seed in Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh.

Saketh Myneni dominated and won the third set tie break to bring up the cheerful news for the home crowd in the concluding men's singles first round match against Serbia's Danilo Petrovic.

Routed in the first set, Myneni held his own in the second before turning out to be more sharp with his serves in the tie breaker. He broke the beanpole tall Petrovic's first serve, held his two to lead 3-0 before running away with the set and match at 7-3. Myneni became the eighth Indian to enter the second round.

Results: Men’s singles (1st round) (5) Ramkumar Ramanathan (India) bt Alexander Zhurbin (Russia) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Spain) bt Shalva Dzhanashiya (Russia) 6-2, 6-2, Fabien Reboul (France) bt Marat Deviatiarov (Ukraine) 7-6 (7-4),5-7,6-4, N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth (India) bt Jayesh Punglia (India, wc) 6-2, 6-4, Nikola Milojevic (Serbia) bt Sriram Balaji (India) 7-5, 7-6 (7-2), (2) Duckhee Lee (Korea) bt Hugo Nys (France) 6-3, 6-7 (4-7),6-1, Sumit Nagal (India) bt Marc Giner (Spain) 7-5,6-3, Saketh Myneni (India) bt Danilo Petrovic (Serbia) 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)

Men’s doubles: (1st Round) (1) Purav Raja and Divij Sharan (India) bt Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul (France) 6-4,7-6 (7-4), Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan (India) bt (3) Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh (India) 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 10-4, Dmitry Popko (Khazakhstan) and Marat Deviatiraov (Ukraine) bt Anirudh Chandrasekar and Vignesh Peranamallur (India) 7-5,6-4, Nikola Milojevic and Danilo Petrovic (Serbia) bt Marc Giner (Spain) and Alexander Zhubrin (Russia) 6-7 (4-7), 6-4,10-4, Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash and Kaza Vinayak Sharma (India) bt Tejas Chaukulkar and Jayesh Pungliya (India) 6-2,6-4, Jeevan Neduncheziyan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth (India) 6-0,6-4, Luca Margaroli (Switzerland) and Hugo Nys (France) 7-5, 7-5.

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