Sriram Balaji, Saketh light up day; Vishnu goes down At KPIT -MSLTA ATP Challenger 2017

Pune, Nov 13: Indian regulars on the circuit N Sriram Balaji and Saketh Myenni impresses with winning starts, while Vishnu Vardhan went down fighting in the opening round of the main draw of the of the $50000 + Hospitality KPIT MSLTA ATP Challenger, at the Mhalunge-Balewadi Tennis Complex courts, here on Monday.

First up on Centre Court, Balaji delighted with a straight set win over Egypt’s Karim-Mohamed Maamoun 6-4, 6-2. Later Saketh Myneni made full use of the wildcard he was awarded to win a gripping encounter against Bosnia and Herzegovina Tomislav Brkić 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Between the two matches of pride, Vishnu walked in to impress but fell short of making it a triple delight. Up against Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Nedovyesov, the Indian wildcard fought back valiantly only to fall out 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.

In the opening match of the day, Coimbatore-based Balaji, who bagged the doubles event

of the ATP Challenger Shenzhen Open, ensured that he made a winning mark in the main draw at Pune by winning his first on his third visit (2014, 2016).

The 27-year-old aided with breaks in the eighth game, which made up for the fifth game reverse that Maamoun forced, and a decisive tenth helped Balaji take the first set.

In the second set, Balaji, ranked 352 (as compared to 235 of  Maamoun) was all fired winning seven points in a row, that included the first game on ‘love’, and then broke the Egyptian in the second to lead 2-0. Balaji showed class as his serve kicked in to effect with aces at the right time. He held serve in the third, then won the fifth on ’love’ and added a break in the eight to complete his win.

Later, 30 year old Saketh Myneni, ranked 598, won a battle of six footers against Bosnian Tomislav, who fell shot in the final set.

Making best use of the wildcard handed to him Saketh progressed with downing his Davis Cup rival who is ranked 266.

Following are the results: Singles: Final Qualifying Round
Kaichi Uchida (1)(JPN)  bt Alexei Popyrin (8)(AUS) 6-4, 6-2
Antoine Escoffier (3)(FRA) bt Sidharth Rawat(5) (IND) 6-2,6-3
Hugo Grenier (4)(FRA) bt Timur Khabibulin (KAZ) 6-2, 6-2
Borna Gojo (CRO) bt N Vijay Sundar Prashanth(7) (IND) 6-1, 6-2

Singles: Main Draw: First Round
N.Sriram Balaji (IND) bt Karim-Mohamed Maamoun (EGY) 6-4, 6-2
[WC] Saketh Myneni (IND) bt Tomislav Brkic (BIH) 6-3, 4-6,6-2
Aleksandr Nedovyesov (9)(KAZ) bt [WC] Vishnu Vardhan (IND) 3-6, 6-4, 6-7
Jay Clarke (GBR) bt Mario Vilella Martinez (ESP) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4

Doubles: Main Draw: First Round
Brydan Klein (GBR)/Marc Polmans (AUS) [2] bt Pedja Krstin (SRB)/Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE) 7-6, 6-3

WC] Sumit Nagal (IND)/Naoki Nakagawa (JPN) bt [WC] Siddanth Banthia (IND)/Jayesh Pungliya (IND) 7-5, 6-0

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