Day 2 of Bengaluru Open 2020 saw upsets galore as Indians made full use of the home tournament. The day began with Indian qualifier Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam, ranked 1093 in the ATP rankings, defeating Daniel Masur, ranked over 800 places above him, 7-5 6-3. But that was not to be the only upset of the day. Later in the day reigning National Men’s Champion, Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha defeated 16th seeded Lukas Rosol 6-4 2-6 6-3.
Not only is the win over impressive due to the difference in their rankings, Rosol is ranked over 900 places above Poonacha, but Rosol has defeated the likes of Rafael Nadal and Jo Wilfred Tsonga in his impressive career and has been ranked as high as 26. Despite the difference in the rankings, it was Poonacha who was dictating terms.
- Qualfiier Abhinav Sanjeev upset ATP 253 Daniel Masur 7-5 6-3
- Reigning National Champion Niki Poonacha beat former world number 26 Lukas Rosol in three sets. Rosol famously beat Rafa Nadal at 2012 Wimbledon
- Saketh Myneni upset 6th seed and ATP 111 Evgeny Donskoy 6-3 6-3
- Sumit Nagal beat former ATP 42 Malek Jaziri 6-0 6-4 to make it to R3
“Today I wasn’t feeling great, but I still managed to push through” said Poonacha about the win. Poonacha continued “This win is great. I haven’t beaten anybody that high before. This is the first time I’m playing that level.” When asked about his goals for the season, Poonacha replied “Ranking wise, my aim is to break the top 500, because last year I was 600 but I couldn’t sustain the ranking”. Poonacha is well on the way to that goal, with this win pushing his rank to top 850 according to the live rankings. Poonacha next faces 3rd seed Yuichi Sugita.
Also through to the round of 16 is Saketh Myneni, now ranked 427 in the world, having defeated Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 6-3 6-3. The match didn’t start too well for Saketh, as he was broken off his very second service game, and Donskoy took an early lead of 3-1 in the first set. However, Saketh broke back immediately to bring the match to parity. He then won the next 4 games in a row with imposing serves and groundstrokes to take the first set 6-3. He broke the Russian again in the third game of the second set to gain an early advantage and closed out the match by breaking Donskoy for the third time in the match. Saketh was the better player throughout, playing with great skills, and varying the pace of his serves. He next faces Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, against whom Saketh has a 2-2 head to head record.
Also advancing into the next round was 2017 winner and eighth seed Sumit Nagal who made a short work of Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-0, 6-4, even as Jaziri was ranked 42nd just last year but has plummeted to 260.
Meanwhile the star of the event Indian tennis legend Leander Paes will play his first match at the centre court tomorrow along with his doubles partner Matthew Ebden of Australia.
Round 3 Match-Ups :
[R3] (8)Sumit Nagal (IND, 125) vs. (11) Blaz Rola (SLO, 145)
[R3] Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha(IND, 1025) vs. (3) Yuichi Sugita (JPN,86)
[R3] Saketh Myneni (IND, 427) vs. (9) Thomas Fabbiano (ITA, 134)
[R3] (13) Ilya Ivashka (BLR, 145) vs. (17) Ramkumar Ramanathan or Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam
Note – Opponents for Prajnesh(provided he wins his R2 match), and Sidharth Rawat (or Rishi Reddy are yet to be decided