It was a good day for Indians on the Challenger circuit with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal advancing in their respective tournaments.
Ramkumar, India’s second-highest ranked men’s singles player, started his campaign at the ATP Challenger in Taipei on a winning note. The ninth seed, who had a first-round bye, beat Maverick Banes 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round in men’s singles.
Nagal, who had to take the qualifying route to reach the main draw of the Challenger in Barletta, Italy, had a topsy-turvy win to begin. He beat Peter Heller of Germany 1-6, 6-1, 6-0 in the first round to set up a clash with fourth seed Filippo Baldi from Italy.
Ramkumar also advanced in the men’s doubles partnering compatriot Saketh Myneni. The duo beat Kwon Soonwoon and Yang Tsunga-Hua 7-6(5),6-3 to reach the quarter-final. In the doubles, third seeds Sriram Balaji and Jonathan Erlich beat Luca Margaroli and Vishnu Vardhan 6-4, 3-6, 11-9.
Earlier, Saketh Myneni, Sasi Kumar Mukund and N Sriram Balaji had all bowed out in the first round. Myneni went down 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2 to Andrew Harris of Australia, Sasi Kumar was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Cem Ilkel of Turkey while Balaji, who had qualified for the main draw, lost to Luke Saville 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4.
Elsewhere, pair of Leander Paes and Benoit Paire beat Divij Sharan and Marcelo Demoliner 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach the quarterfinal at ATP 250 event in Marrakech, Morocco.
Among the women, India No 1 Ankita Raina started her campaign at the $60,000 ITF event in Istanbul with a comprehensive win. The sixth seed beat Betina Tokac 6-1, 6-0 to reach the second round in Turkey.
Pranjala Yadlapalli, in only her second tournament after return from injury layoff, rallied to beat Ari Matsumoto 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 to reach the second round of the $25,000 ITF event in Osaka, Japan.
At the $25,000 ITF tournament in Hong Kong, all four Indians lost in the first round of women’s singles. Natalia Siedliska beat Rutuja Bhosale 6-2, 6-3, Ling Zhang beat Zeel Desai 6-4, 6-1, Chihiro Muramatsu beat Mihika Yadav 6-2, 6-2 and Olivia Tjandramulia beat Riya Bhatia 6-3, 7-6(4). Bhosale is still alive in doubles with partner Tjandramulia.
Prarthana Thombare and Russian partner Ekaterina Yashina lost 6-3, 6-2 to Vera Lapko and Mandy Minella at the WTA event in Lugano, Switzerland.