Weekly Roundup 2020.02: Sania Mirza, Prarthana Thombare and Prajnesh Gunneswaran headline the week

WTA Hobart International

Sania Mirza had a fabulous return to the pro circuit a 2 years break. She won the  title at Hobart International along with Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine. These are her results this week

[R1] Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)/ Sania Mirza (IND) d. Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO)/ Miyu Kato (JPN) 26 76(3) 10-3
[QF] Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)/ Sania Mirza (IND) d. Vania King (USA)/ Christina Mchale (USA) 62 46 10-4
[SF] Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)/ Sania Mirza (IND) d. Marie Bouzkova (CZE)/ Tamara Zidansek (SLO) 76(3) 62
[F] Nadiia Kichenok (UKR)/ Sania Mirza (IND) d. (2) Shuai Peng (CHN)/ Shuai Zhang (CHN) 64 64

This is Sania’s 42nd WTA doubles title in 62 finals. Perfect warm-up for Australian Open.

Australian Open 2020 – Qualifying

The focus this week was on the Australian open qualifying where 4 of our top players were playing- Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina 

The results were a little underwhelming with Sumit, Ramkumar and Ankita – all losing in the first round. All losses were disappointing as Sumit lost to a lower ranked Egyptian, Ramkumar lost to a player who has been an exclusively clay court player and Ankita lost to a player whom she had beaten before. Prajnesh saved the day for us as he made it to the final qualifying round where he faced a former top 20 player, Ernests Guilbis. Gulbis turned out to be too strong for Prajnesh and he won in straight sets.

These are the detailed results of our players

[Q1] Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND, 183) l. (15) Federico Coria (ARG,118) 64 46 16
[Q1] (17) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 122) d. (WC) Harry Bourchier (AUS, 286) 62 64
[Q1] Sumit Nagal (IND, 128) l. Mohamed Safwat (EGY, 172) 67(2) 26
[Q1] Ankita Raina (IND, 175) l. Victoria Tomova (BUL, 146) 26 67(2)
[Q2] (17) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 124) vs Yannick Hanfmann (GER, 167) 16 62 61
[Q3] (17) Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 124) l. Ernests Gulbis (LAT, 254) 67(4) 26

But, as luck would have it Prajnesh made it thru to the main draw as a lucky loser. Thus, he is going to be playing his 5th consecutive grand slam main draw. And he draws the Asian wild card, Tatsuma Ito in the first round who is ranked lower than Prajnesh. 

Indian Origin and other players of interest

British Indian Naiktha Bains had a tough outing and lost out in straight sets. Another British of Indian interest, Samantha Murray Sharan lost out in straight sets as well.

ATP 250 ASB Classic – Auckland, New Zealand

Both the top Indian doubles players Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna lost in the 2nd round here. The event also featured young Kiwi-Indian Ajeet Rai who put up a formidable fight against a top-100 player Thiego Montiero. 

ATP Challenger Tour – Bangkok

Siddharth Rawat qualified for the main draw at Bangkok Challenger and had a very good win over a higher ranked player in the main draw. He also had a chance to beat former top 30 player, Santiago Giraldo when he served for the match in second set but could not do so and lost in 3 sets. 

Balaji and Jeevan made it to the doubles semi final in their first outing as a new partnership for 2020.

[Q1] Siddharth Rawat (IND,501) d. Tomislav Brkic (CRO,547) 75 63
[R1] (Q) Siddharth Rawat (IND,501) d. Sadio Dombia (FRA,361) 62 64
[R2] (Q) Siddharth Rawat (IND,501) l. (13) Santiago Giraldo (COL,272) 63 67(4) 46
[R1] N. Sriram Balaji (IND) / Jeevan Neduncheziyan (IND) d. Goncalo Oliveira (POR) / Yang Tsung-Hua (TPE) 63 63
[QF] N. Sriram Balaji (IND)/ Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) bt JC Aragone (USA)/ Luis David Martinez (VEN) 76(3) 61
[SF] N. Sriram Balaji (IND)/ Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) l. Sanchai Ratiwatana (THA)/ Christopher Rungkat (INA) 46 67(2) 7-10

ATP Challenger Tour – Bendigo

Mukund Sasikumar had his first top 100 win when his Japanese opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka retired while trailing 2-5 in the second set. But, in the second round Mukund lost to a player ranked close to top 100.

[R1] (11) Sasikumar Mukund (IND,272) bye
[R2] (11) Sasikumar Mukund (IND,272) d (Q) Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN,71) 5-2 retd.
[R3] (11) Sasikumar Mukund (IND,272) l Marcos Giron (USA, 112) 46 36

ITF Womens Tour

Zeel Desai had a couple of good wins again in Tunisia but lost in a competitive match against the top seeded British player.

Prarthana Thombare, India’s doubles specialist, played at the Daytona Beach Championships ITF $25K event in Florida and reached the final to make it a good event.

ITF Mens – Futures tour

Egypt $15K: S D Prajwal Dev lost in the first round in both the singles and doubles events. 

Turkey $15K: Aryan Goveas, Sahil Gaware and Nitin Kumar Sinha lost in the opening rounds.

ITF Junior Circuit

Aaryan Zaveri reached the boys finals of the ITF J4 event in Dubai

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