Grass continued to be a challenge for Indian men’s singles players as the country’s top two ranked players bowed out of their respective matches.
Yuki Bhambri’s first-round match at the Queen’s ended when the Indian retired mid-match while trailing Canadian Milos Raonic 1-6, 1-3. He was struggling with a knee injury and had his leg heavily taped up before he could continue no further.
Earlier, India’s top-ranked singles player had qualified after a 6-4, 6-2 win US qualifier Taylor Fritz to reach the main draw of the ATP 500 event.
In the doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Édouard Roger-Vasselin beat Kevin Anderson and Julien Benneteau 6-3, 7-6(3) in the first round to set up a clash with top seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Indian No 2 Ramkumar Ramanathan crashed out of the Ilkley ATP Challenger after losing his first round to Austria’s Sebastian Ofner. The sixth seed lost 5-7, 3-6 in 64 minutes.
In the doubles, India’s Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and his American partner Austin Krajicek, who ended runners-up at Nottingham last week, beat Hubert Urkacz and Evan King 6-4, 6-4.
Purav Raja, partnering John Patrick Smith, opened their campaign with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Peter Polansky and Matt Reid.
Earlier, Prajnesh Gunneswaran had withdrawn from the Challenger due to a strain.
At the Fergana Challenger in Uzbekistan, Saketh Myneni, who had to qualify for the main draw, continued his strong run to beat Dzmitry Zhyrmont 6-4,6-0 and reach the second round. His good form carried on to the doubles as well as he and partner Vijay Sundar Prashanth upset top seed Gerard Granollers and Enrique López Pérez 7-5,7-5.
Arjun Kadhe and Alex Lawson crossed the first hurdle with strong, fightback win over Ivan Nedelko and Laurynas Grigelis. The Indo-American pair won 6(4)-7, 7-6(3), 10-7
Karman Kaur Thandi, seeded second at the $25K ITF tournament in Hong Kong, started with an easy win beating beat Hong Kong’s Ho-Ching Wu 6-4, 6-2.
In the doubles, Thandi and partner Tessah Andrianjafitrimo scored a dominant opening win. The fourth seeds beat Yi Tsen Cho and Jiakang Li 6-1, 6-1.
At the same event, Pranjala Yadlapalli went down to Zuzana Zlochova 0-6, 6-7(6) while Jennifer Luikham lost to Japan’s Mai Hontama 1-6, 1-6 in the singles.
Pranjala had better luck in the doubles as she and partner Victoria Muntean beat Hong Kong duo Yan-Tung Ki and Wing Kiu Jacqueline Lam 6-1, 6-1 .
At the $25K ITF event in Fergana , seventh seeded Rutuja Bhosale notched a 6-2, 6-1 win over Valeriya Zeleva while Natasha Palha went down 1-6, 3-6 to Anastasia Frolova.
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