Indian players enjoyed a good day at the office in the $1,62,000 Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger at KSLTA Stadium here on Tuesday.
While Saketh Myneni and Niki Poonacha knocked out higher-ranker opponents, Sumit Nagal underlined his class with a comfortable win.
Poonacha created a huge stir, taking out favourite Lukas Rosol 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the second round. Rosol, who famously upset Rafael Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon in 2012, struggled to get going against the Indian.
For Poonacha, who is ranked 570 places below Rosol, this was the biggest victory of his career. “I received a wildcard for this tournament, and I wanted to make the most of it. This win is a huge confidence boost,” the 24-year-old said.
As the crowd began to swell in the evening session, Nagal took centerstage. Armed with a crushing forehand, Nagal whipped Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-0, 6-4. Jaziri made the mistake of dropping too many short balls, which Nagal had little trouble dispatching for winners.
Nagal ran around the ball to get his forehand into play - a ploy that worked well. “My forehand is my strength. I’m not going to defeat anyone with a serve and volley game,” he said. The 22-year-old , however, must be worried about his weak serve, which conceded seven double faults.
Jaziri, who reached a career-high world ranking of 42 only a year ago, made too many unforced errors. He was unhappy with a few line calls, but his protests had little impact on the outcome of the match.
Myneni, meanwhile, recorded a 6-3, 6-3 win over sixth-seed Russian Evgeny Donskoy. Sasikumar Mukund was the only Indian not to progress, losing 5-7, 3-6 to Ilya Ivashka of Belarus.
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