Mukund through to R3, Manish and Sumit bow out

On the second day of the Chennai Open Challenger 80 being held at the SDAT Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam, Chennai 16th seeded Mukund Sasikumar gladdened many an Indian heart when he displayed fluent attacking game to defeat Sebastian Fanselow of Germany in two comfortable sets.  Mukund started strongly and held serve with the help of an ace.  Sebastian on the other hand struggled but held his serve.  After 2 all Mukund won 12 of the 13 points to go ahead 5-2.  After a lot of huffing and puffing Sebastian managed to hold his serve and reduce the lead to 5-3.  Mukund then saved the only break point against him with an ace and thereafter went on to win the next two points to clinch the first set 6-3.  Mukund was now at his fluent best and his ground strokes found the lines.  Mukund broke Sebastian in the first game of the second set and then held serve with an ace to lead 2-0.  Mukund’s unforced errors in the next game allowed Sebastian to narrow the lead 1-2.  In the next four games Mukund won 16 of the 20 points played to record a facile 6-1 win to give him an opportunity to play the third seeded Mohammed Safwat of Egypt in the next round.

The third seed Safwat of Egypt played clinical tennis to down Andrea Pellegrino of Italy 6-3, 7-5.  Mohamed was smooth and consistent throughout the match and just did enough to put out the fighting Italian.

Two other Indians were shown the door. The 8th seeded Korean Duckhee Lee, last year’s semifinalist broke Sumit three times to win the first set 6-3 and twice in the second set to win it 6-4.  Sumit who had served brilliantly on the previous day seemed to be slack.  His serves were falling short and the talented Korean made no mistake in making forcing returns to keep Sumit off balance.  In the second set the two players traded one service break each. At 4 all Duckhee held serve to go ahead 5-4 and then broke Sumit in the tenth game with consummate ease to move into the next round.

In another match the Khelo India Under 21 winner, Manish Sureshkumar a wild card entrant found the going tough against Brydan Klein of Britain. Manish tried hard but could not match up to the power, length and consistency of the British player.  Brydan broke him in the 4th and 8th games to win the first set 6-2.  In the second, Brydan had a lapse of concentration in the first game serving two double faults.  He then broke Manish without conceding a point to level the score 1 all.  Brydan then took a commanding lead 3-1 when he used his experience to break Manish’s serve once again and then went on to win the set 6-3.

Collin Altamirano of USA edged out Kaito Uesugi of Japan in a close third set tiebreak 10-8 which was topsy turvy.  The Japanese saved three match points while Collin saved two.  Collin finally finished the match with a lovely forehand down the line.

In the doubles, the Italian pair of Gianluca Mager and Andrea Pellegrino defeated the third seeded Indian pair of Arjun Khade and SakethMyneni.

In tomorrow’s matches top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran will face Daniel Altmaier of Germany, eleventh seed Saketh Myneni will face compatriot Vijay Sundar Prashanth and Arjun Khade will face thirteenth seed Jose Hernandez-Fernandes of the Dominican Republic.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019

Men’s Singles Main Draw I Round

Luke Saville (AUS) Bt. [ITF] Moez Echargui (TUN) 7-6 (), 6-1

Brydan Klein (GBR) Bt. [WC] Manish Sureshkumar (IND)  6-2, 6-3

Alexander Zhurbin (RUS) Bt. Ricardo Ojeda Lara (ESP) 6-2 6-4

Collin Altamirano (USA) Bt. [Q] Kaito Uesugi (JPN) 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(8)

[Alt] Ian Gakhov (RUS) Bt. Dayne Kelly (AUS) 7-6 (), 6-3

Men’s Singles Main Draw II Round

[3] Mohamed Safwat (EGY) Bt. Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) 6-3, 7-5
[16] Sasikumar Mukund (IND) Bt. Sebastian Fanselow (GER) 6-3, 6-1

[8] Duckhee Lee (KOR) Bt. Sumit Nagal (IND) 6-3, 6-4
Andrew Harris (AUS) Bt,-. Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE) 6-2, 6-1

[5] Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) Bt. Renta Tokuda (JPN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3

[10] Nicola Kuhn (ESP) Bt. Antoine Escoffier (FRA) 4-6, 7-6(5) 4-0 (Retd.)

Men’s Doubles First Round

[WC] Sidharth Rawat (IND) / Manish Sureshkumar (IND) Bt. [WC] Anirudh Chandrasekar (IND) / Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam (IND) 6-7(5), 6-2, 10-5

Gianluca Mager (ITA) / Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) Bt. [3] Arjun Kadhe (IND) / Saketh Myneni (IND) 7-6(4), 6-3

[1] Matt Reid (AUS) / Luke Saville (AUS) Bt. Blake Ellis (AUS) / Bradley Mousley (AUS) 7-6(4), 6-4


N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth (IND) / Rubin Statham (NZL) Bt. Byran Klein (GBR) / Toshihide Matsui (JPN) 6-4, 6-4

[WC] Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) / Sumit Nagal (IND) Bt. [ITF] Ivan Nedelko (RUS) / Alexander Zhurbin (RUS) 6-1, 6-2


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