CROWD FAVOURITES RAMKUMAR RAMANATHAN, SUMIT NAGAL, VISHNU VARDHAN and qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran have all booked their places in the second round of the KPIT ATP Challenger in Pune today.
Unseeded Ramkumar Ramanathan came back from the brink to defeat Spaniard, Gerard Granollers 7-6(6), 6-4 in almost two hours. Trailing 1-5 in the first set, Ramanathan dug deep and leveled the match at 5-5, eventually taking the set in a tight tie-breaker. The second set too was a close call, but a timely break of serve was enough for Ramanathan to progress ahead.
Wildcard Sumit Nagal managed to close out his match against compatriot Purav Raja 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes. Although Raja served well, Nagal returned well to obtain three crucial service breaks.
Another Indian wildcard, Vishnu Vardhan too closed out his match in straight sets 6-4, 7-5 against Belarusian Egar Gerasimov.
However, in the longest singles match of the day, qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran defeated Temur Ismailov 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(6). Both players served a few aces, but also double-falted at crucial times. The match saw some long rallies, breaks on serves and eventually finished after two hours and 20 minutes.
Ramanathan, Vardhan, Nagal and Gunneswaran will take to the court on Wednesday for their second round matches.