Shivank Bhatnagar overcame a hard start and turned the match around midway through the second set for a memorable 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(2) victory over Ajay Malik in the first round of the $15,000 ITF men’s tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Tuesday.
Shivank, who served four aces in the match and converted two of 10 breakpoints that he forced, was 2-4 down in the second set, before his fighting qualities came to the fore. It was a high quality contest between the two wild card entrants and Shivank handled the tie-breaks with elan to pull through in the battle of wits that lasted two and a half hour.
Shivank will next play the winner of the match between top seed Oliver Crawford of the USA and qualifier Sai Karteek Ganta.
In the only other main draw singles match, third seed Dalwinder Singh converted two of five breakpoints to beat Suraj Prabodh 6-4, 6-4.
The 16-year-old Aryan Shah won his third match in the qualifying event without dropping a set and will challenge fifth seed Florent Bax of France in the main draw.
Singles (first round): Shivank Bhatnagar bt Ajay Malik 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(2); Digvijay Pratap Singh bt Suraj Prabodh 6-4, 6-4.
Doubles (pre-quarterfinals): Parikshit Somani & Manish Sureshkumar bt Kabir Hans & Oges Theyjo 6-4, 6-2; Yuta Kawahashi & Ryuki Matsuda (Jpn) bt Ishaque Eqbal & Faisal Qamar 7-6(3), 6-2; Nitin Kumar Sinha & Vishnu Vardhan bt Raghav Jaisinghani & VM Ranjeet 6-2, 6-1; Suraj Prabodh & Dalwinder Singh bt Chirag Duhan & Woobin Shin (Kor) 7-6(5), 7-6(6); Rishab Agarwal & Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta bt Adil Kalyanpur & Karan Singh 3-6, 6-3, [10-6];Florent Bax (Fra) & Nicholas Bybel (USA) bt Yash Chaurasia & Tushar Madan 6-1, 3-6, [10-2]; Bharath Kumaran & Shashank Theertha bt Shahbaaz Khan & Siddharth Vishwakarma 6-3, 6-1; Rithvik Bollipalli & Niki Poonacha bt Parth Aggarwal & Madhwin Kamath 6-3, 6-0.
Qualifying singles (third and final round): Madhwin Kamath bt Arjun Mahadevan 6-2, 6-1; Chirag Duhan bt Manish Ganesh 7-6(4), 6-2; Lakshit Sood bt Dhruv Hirpara 6-3, 6-2; Rohan Mehra bt Lakshya Gupta 6-2, 6-3; Aryan Shah bt Shahbaaz Khan 6-4, 6-3; Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta bt Udit Kamboj 6-3, 6-4.