Saketh Myneni progressed to main draw after getting the better of Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(4) in a thrilling match of the Tata Open Maharashtra played at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Stadium here on Sunday.
In a see saw battle that lasted for over 2 hr 31 mins, Myneni beat the 163-ranked Belarusian in the Round 2 of the qualifiers with the help of nine aces.
Myneni took initiative in the first set with the help of a break in the fourth game. But Gerasimov wasn’t going down without a fight. Trailing 5-3, he broke Myneni’s serve in the ninth game to make it 4-5. But the Indian managed to hold his serve and win the first set 6-4 in 39 minutes.
Neither of the players gave an inch in to each other in the second set as it went to tiebreaker where Gerasimov down 0-2 took the set 7-6 (4) to take the game into the decider. In the third set, Myneni looked to seal the deal with a lead of 4-1. But Gerasimov had other ideas holding his serve twice and got a double break to make it 5-4 in his favour. Myneni held on to his serve to make it 5-5 and the decided went into tiebreaker.
Myneni was down 1-3 but dug deep to eventually win the tiebreaker and the match. He will now face France’s Benoit Paire in main draw.
“It not great to give away breaks at this level. I am still trying to find my game. I played defensive at 4-1 and he took advantage. I should have dictated the point but did not hit deep. Instead he put me on run. And again at 4-3, I started well but played loose, missed my shots,” said Myneni after the match.