The Chennai Open Challenger 80 was blessed by very slight drizzle before getting off to a bright start at the SDAT Tennis Stadium in Chennai.
The hero of the day was wild card entrant and local star, N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth, who ousted Carlos Boluda-Purkiss of Spain in three sets. Vijay started in flamboyant fashion stroking smoothly on both flanks and served with precision breaking Carlos twice in the first set to run out an easy winner 6-2. In the second set Carlos improved his first serve percentage and held his serve in spite of 6 break points against him. Vijay seemed to have a loss of concentration and lost two of his service games to allow Carlos to take the second set 6-2 and level the match. In the third set Vijay regained his earlier form, took advantage of his opponent’s short returns by moving forward and putting away crisp volleys. His backhand short cross court volleys were a delight to watch. After the two players were level at 2 all it was Vijay all the way as he broke his opponent twice to clinch the decisive third set and score a well deserved win. The 32 year old will now meet Saket Myneni in the second round.
In two other matches Arjun Khade displayed his recent improvement in his game when he broke Ivan Nedelko of Russia with consummate ease to win in straight sets 6-4, 6-1, while Sumit Nagal made short work of David Perez Sanz of Spain demolishing him in straight sets. Sumit’s improved serve faced no break point throughout the match. Sumit served deep and accurately to keep his opponent on the backfoot throughout and his return of serve was aggressive which paid off as the result shows. Sumit will now meet the 8th seed Duckhee Lee of Korea in the next round.
Kaito Uesugi of Japan was the alternate to replace Ivan Gakhovof Russia in the qualifying round and was pitted against the local youngster Dhakshineswar Suresh. The Japanese was off to a lightening start finding the target on both flanks with relative ease. He also served and moved well to defeat the tall Dhakshineswas in two sets in less than an hour.
On the adjacent court Sidharth Rawat who had moved into the qualifying draw due to a late withdrawal was steady as always while his Russian Opponent Alexander Zhurbin was wayward. There were 5 breaks of serves in the first set but Sidharth broke thrice to win it. In the second set both players shared a break till 5 all. The Russian was beginning to find his targets and make less errors which helped him win the crucial game and take the second set 7-5. Playing with great confidence the Russian did not concede a single break point in the third set. He broke Sidharth once after having six break points to win the crucial and decisive third set 6-3 and the match.
The Japanese player Renta Tokuda was consistently aggressive while downing steady and determined Abhinav Sanjeev 6-3, 6-4.
Antoine Escoffier of France was an impressive winner against Evgenii Tiurnev of Russia, winning in straight sets.
Matches start at 10 a.m. and the entrance to witness the matches is free.
Monday, 4th February 2019
Men’s Singles Main Draw I Round
Daniel Altmaier (GER) Bt. Daniel Nguyen (USA) 6-3, 6-2
Arjun Kadhe (IND) Bt. [ITF] Ivan Nedelko (RUS) 6-4, 6-1
Blake Ellis (AUS) Bt. [WC] Siddharth Vishwakarma (IND) 6-2, 6-2
Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) Bt. Rubin Statham (NZL) 6-4, 6-4
Sebastian Fanselow (GER) Bt. Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) 6-4, 7-5
Antoine Escoffier (FRA) Bt. [ITF] Evgenii Tiurnev (RUS) 6-2, 6-2
Renta Tokuda (JPN) Bt. [WC] Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam (IND) 6-3, 6-4
[WC] N. Prashanth Vijay Sundar (IND) Bt. Carlos Boluda-Purkiss (ESP) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
[WC] Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) Bt. Bradley Mousley (AUS) 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-3
Sumit Nagal (IND) Bt. [ITF] David Perez Sanz (ESP) 6-3, 6-2
Andrew Harris (AUS) Bt. Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 6-4, 6-4
 [Alt] [ITF] Alexander Zhurbin (RUS) Bt. Sidharth Rawat (IND) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
[Alt] Kaito Uesugi (JPN) Bt. [WC] Dhakshineswar Suresh (IND) 6-1, 6-3
Order of play for Tuesday – February 4, 2019