Indian tennis ace Saketh Myneni started his campaign at the 2016 US Open qualifying on a winning note as he entered the second round on Tuesday. The Indian Davis Cupper, ranked 115th, comfortably defeated 166th ranked Frenchman Albano Olivetti 6-3, 7-5 in the first round match that lasted 1 hour 11 minutes.
The 26th seeded Myneni’s big serve was working for him and he thundered down 11 aces and won 85% of his first serve points. The 24-year-old Olivetti, on the other hand, committed as many as eight double faults that did not help his cause.
The 28-year-old Indian took his chances well and converted two out of six break points, one in each set. The first set was one-way traffic where the Asian Games gold medallist made use of the only break point on offer to seal the set in 23 minutes.
The second set was more competitive as Saketh’s young opponent came back hard at him but the Frenchman’s inability to take even one of the eight break points became the architect of his downfall.
Myneni won a total of 72 points while Olivetti could grab only 54 points.
The World No. 115 next faces American Mitchell Krueger, a player ranked 76 places below him. To earn a main draw berth, he has to win a total of three qualifying rounds.
Ramkumar also playing qualifiers
21-year-old Ramkumar Ramanathan is the only other Indian playing the US Open qualifiers. The World No. 202 starts his challenge against the 212th ranked Alessandro Giannessi of Italy. The two Indians are in opposite halves of the draw and cannot face each other before the final round of qualifying.
Djokovic, Serena lead the seedings
The main draw of the final Slam of the year starts on August 29. Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams will be the favourites for the title. While Djokovic is looking to return to Slam-winning ways after a blip at Wimbledon, Williams will be eager to reclaim her home Slam after slumping to a shock defeat at the hands of Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals last year.