Tata Maharashtra Open: Kevin Anderson, Gilles Simon drawn in same half

Local boy Arjun Kadhe will face the World No. 6 Kevin Anderson if he manages to overcome Serb Laslo Djere in the first round.

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson (in picture) is the title favourite following Marin Cilic’s pullout.   -  AFP

Kevin Anderson sits atop what seems the heavier of the halves after the draw ceremony of the Tata Open Maharashtra here on Saturday. The 2018 Wimbledon finalist, who will shoulder the burden of being the title-favourite following Marin Cilic’s pullout, has the tournament’s third seed and defending champion Gilles Simon for company.

The presence of three of the four qualifiers in his half can be slightly misleading, for, Anderson, in addition to Simon — who dismantled his power-packed game with ease in the 2018 final — will need to be vary of the mercurial Frenchman Benoit Paire and Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely.

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Local boy Arjun Kadhe will be rewarded with a show-court meeting against the World No. 6 if he manages to overcome Serb Laslo Djere.

Decent draws for Prajnesh, Ramkumar

The highly-rated South Korean Hyeon Chung (No. 25), who famously beat Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open early this year, headlines the bottom half and is likely to meet the eccentric Latvian Ernests Gulbis in his opening match. Malek Jaziri, World No. 45, is seeded fourth.

It is in the Tunisian’s quarter that India’s top-two players — Prajnesh Gunneswaran (107) and Ramkumar Ramananthan (133) — find themselves in. Both can consider their draws decent; Prajnesh opens against the United States’ Michael Mmoh and Ramkumar plays Spaniard Marcel Granollers.

Prajnesh Gunneswaan (left) plays U.S.'s Michael Mmoh in the first round, while Ramkumar Ramanathan (right) plays Spain's Marcel Granollers. Photo: M. Karunakaran

 

This being a field of 28, Anderson, Chung, Simon and Jaziri all received byes into the second round.

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The 16-team doubles event will see as many as three all-Indian pairs, with Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan leading the field. The combinations of Kadhe-Sriram Balaji and Ramkumar-Purav Raja have been granted wild cards.

Meanwhile in qualifying, Saketh Myneni advanced to the second round following a three-set win over Jason Jung of Chinese Taipei while Sasi Kumar Mukund proved no match for Italy’s Gianluigi Quinzi.

Qualifying results (first round)
  • Sebastian Ofner (Aut) bt Ruben Bemelmans (Bel) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1;
  • Gianluigi Quinzi (Ita) bt Sasi Kumar Mukund 6-1, 6-1;
  • Thiago Monteiro (Bra) bt Daniel Brands (Ger) 7-6 (5), 7-5;
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime (Can) bt Marcelo Arevalo (Esa) 6-7 (2), 6-1, 3-2 (retd.);
  • Simone Bolelli (Ita) bt Brayden Schnur (Can) 6-3, 7-6 (5);
  • Antoine Hoang (Fra) bt Andrej Martin (Svk) 6-1, 6-2;
  • Saketh Myneni bt Jason Jung (Tpe) 6-1, 5-7, 6-2;
  • Egor Gerasimov (Blr) bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Esp) 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.