Pune: India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Kadhe produced spirited performances before going down fighting in their respective singles opening round matches at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Tuesday.
While Ramkumar suffered a 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 3-6 defeat against eight seed Stefano Travaglia, local boy Kadhe lost 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (6-4), 6-2 to Joao Sousa.
The fourth edition of South Asia only ATP-250 Tour event is organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.
Both Ramkumar and Travaglia looked in good touch as they played aggressively in an intense first set.
At 4-4, the Chennai-born player responded well and hit back hard to make it 6-5 before the set went into tie-breaker but Travaglia sealed the set with his big serves.
The top-ranked Indian took control of the second set with a 4-2 lead. He then snatched it quite comfortably in the end with a brilliant serve to level the scores at 1-1.
However, the World No. 93 Travaglia made a strong comeback in the decider to take 5-3 lead. Serving for the match, the Italian didn’t let the momentum slip to pocket the set as well as the match.
Earlier, the 28-year-old Kadhe made former World No. 28 Sousa work hard for each point in the nail-biting first two sets which went into the tie-break.
However, the Indian’s challenge came to an end after the Portuguese took the charge of the game in the final set and completed a win convincingly.
“It was a tough match, he’s (Sousa) a world class player. It was a really close second set, one or two points I could have played better and won that match,” Ka said after the match.
In other round-of-32 singles matches, sixth-seed Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland outclassed last edition’s semi-finalist Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 6-0, 7-6 (13-11).
The 22-year-old Ruussuvuori later ended the day with one more win to seal a place in the doubles quarter-finals, partnering Italian Gianluca Mager.
The pair upstaged the fourth-seeded Australian duo of Marc Polmans and Matt Reid 6-4, 6-4.
Bernabe Zapata Miralles and Aleksandar Vukic also made progress into the second round with contrasting victories in their respective matches.
Spanish player Miralles, who made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open last year, had an easy task against Denis Novak as he secured a 6-4, 6-1 win without breaking a sweat.
However, 25-year-old Australian Vukic recovered well in time after being a set down to complete a thrilling 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory. Vukic is now set to face second-seed Italian rising star Lorenzo Musetti on Wednesday.
The third day of the tournament, which is being owned by IMG and operated by RISE Worldwide in India, will witness the star Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar in action. The second-seeded Indian duo will begin their challenge against American duo of Jamie Cerretani and Nicholas Monroe in the doubles opening round.
On Monday late night, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran suffered a hard-fought opening round defeat 6-7 (5-7), 2-6 against the fifth seed Daniel Altmaier.
Results (February 1):
(Singles, RD-32) (8) Stefano Travaglia bt Ramkumar 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 3-6; Joao Sousa bt (WC) Arjun Kadhe 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (6-4), 6-2(6); Emil Ruusuvuori bt Egor Gerasimov 6-0, 7-6 (13-11); Aleksandar Vukic bt Hugo Grenier 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4); Bernabe Zapata Miralles bt Dennis Novak 6-4, 6-1; (Q) Elias Ymer bt (Q) Gian Marco Moroni 7-5, 3-6, 6-4; Kamil Majchrzak bt (Q) Jay Clarke 6-3, 7-5; (Q) Vit Kopriva bt Cem Ilkel 6-4, 6-2
Gianluca Mager/Emil Ruusuvuori bt (4) Marc Polmans/MattReid 6-4, 6-4; Federico Gaio/Lorenzo Musetti bt Hans Hach Verdugo/MiguelAngel Reyes-Varela 6-4, 4-6, 10-8