Ramkumar Ramanathan posted a brilliant victory against Mattia Bellucci to enter the singles main draw in fifth Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Indian, who came as a wildcard, put up a spectacular show in the final round of the qualifiers to secure a comfortable 6-3, 7-5 win over the No. 3 seed Italian.
Ramanathan will be the fourth Indian to feature in the singles main draw at the ongoing edition of South Asia’s only ATP 250 event, which is being conducted by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with the Government of Maharashtra for the fifth year in Pune.
India No. 1 Mukund Sasikumar, Sumit Nagal and the 15-year-old Manas Dhamne are the country’s other three players to compete in the main draw.
Speaking after the match, Ramanathan appreciated the crowd support. “The crowd support really worked in my favor. My opponent was getting frustrated and that was helping me focus even more. The crowd’s always been good for me in Pune”, said Ramanathan after the match.
“I was trying to keep the points short. I was focusing on my serve and my first volleys. Purav (Raja) was courtside cheering me on as well. I really respect him and his support means a lot to me”, said Ramanathan, as he looks forward to starting his main draw campaign against Spain’s 62nd ranked Pedro Martinez.