Bengaluru, Feb 14: One of India’s main hopes at the Bengaluru Open 2 ATP Challenger, Prajnesh Gunneswaran succumbed more to his mistakes than the finesse of top seed Aleksandar Vukic in the first round going down tamely 4-6, 2-6 at the KSLTA Courts here on Monday.
Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria created the biggest ripple of the day when he ousted second seed Frenchman Hugo Grenier in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the pre-quarterfinals. Also advancing to the next round was Arjun Kadhe who brushed aside the challenge of compatriot Adil Kalyanpur 6-2, 6-2.
Although the match between Vukic and Gunneswaran seemed to go on an even note, the 25-year-old Australian achieved a crucial break in the third game which eventually helped the visitor call the shots and walk away with the first set. Vukic, who achieved his career best of 135 here in Bengaluru, raced to a 2-0 lead after a break in the very first game and repeated the feat in the fifth game for a decisive 4-1 lead post which he closed out the match with a superb down the line winner.
In another interesting match of the day, after an early break in the second game, 28-year-old Dimitar dominated the proceedings. However, Grenier showed signs of comeback with a break in the seventh game to narrow the lead to 3-4 but lost his serve again in the 10th to lose the set. The games went with the serves in the second set, each of them fiercely contested with longer rallies. A double fault in the sixth game followed by another unforced error cost him his serve, which paved the way for Dimitar’s win.
Earlier in the day, Nitin Kumar Sinha toiled his way into the main rounds by ousting third seed Rio Noguchi of Japan 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 in the final qualifying round. Joining him was the top seed in qualifiers Mukund Sasikiran who was stretched by fellow Indian Manish Suresh Kumar before prevailing 7-5, 1-6, 6-3.
With Prajnesh’s exit, a total of five Indians are in fray in the main draw.
Results Round of 32
WC-Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt WC-Adil Kalyanpur (IND) 6-2, 6-2; 1-Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) 6-4, 6-2; Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) bt 2-Hugo Grenier (FRA) 6-4, 6-3; Mark Polmans (AUS) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 6-3, 7-6 (7); 6-Max Purcell (AUS) bt Jason Kubler (AUS) 5-7, 6-3, 6-0; Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) vs Steven Diez (CAN)
Final Qualifying Round
1-Mukund Sasikumar (IND) bt Manish Sureshkumar (IND) 7-5, 1-6, 6-3; Nitin Kumar Sinha (IND) bt 3-Rio Noguchi (JPN) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1; 2-Andrew Harris (AUS) bt WC-Digvijaypratap Singh (IND) 6-4, 7-5; Dominik Palan (CZE) bt 4-Bogdan Bobrov (RUS) 6-0, 6-1; Markos Kalovelonis (GRE) bt N Sriram Balaji (IND) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; 7-Antoine Bellier (SUI) bt 6-V Vladyslav Orlov (UKR) 6-1, 6-4.