Ramkumar Ramanathan fought back from the brink, from a set and three match points down, to beat France’s Maxime Janvier 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-4 and enter the second round of the Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger, here on Monday.
The wild card entrant’s stay in the singles draw at the Garden City seemed set to end the same way as it had last week in Chennai — with a first-round defeat.
But the 29-year-old clawed his way back miraculously for only his first main draw match win since November 2022.
On the day, fortunes swung back and forth in the opening set as Ramkumar and Janvier couldn’t calibrate their games to match the pomp of the immaculately laid KSLTA courts inside the leafy and pristine Cubbon Park.
The duo traded breaks early on and the contest inevitably slipped into a tie break. Once there, Ramkumar made the first move, going up 4-1. But Janvier reeled off six straight points to pocket the set.
In the second stanza, the two kept pace with each other until one bad service game at 4-5 saw Ramkumar staring down the barrel. However, he saved all three match points, levelled at 5-5 and broke to go 6-5 up.
That last return game showed his heightened confidence, especially the fierce slapped return to bring up the break point.
Ramkumar carried that belief, first to hold serve to take the match into the decider and then break Janvier’s serve in the third game of the third set. From there on, there was no looking back for the Indian.
RESULTS (Indians unless specified)
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