Cincinnati Masters: Ramkumar Ramanathan enters main draw after Gael Monfils withdraws
Rising Indian tennis star Ramkumar Ramanathan secured a berth in the main draw of the 2017 Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio as a lucky loser after World No. 21 Gael Monfils pulled out of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament due to illness on Monday.
This is the first time the 22-year-old is in the main draw of any ATP Masters 1000 event.
Ramanathan was playing the qualifying rounds over the weekend where he succumbed to a narrow 6(6)-7, 6(2)-7 defeat to the 14th seeded Maximilian Marterer of Germany in the final round of qualifying.
In the first round, he had registered a huge upset win over the fourth seed and World No. 68 Dusan Lajovic, 7-6(1), 6-4.
The 180th ranked Indian will now take on the 21-year-old qualifier Christopher Eubanks of the USA, who is placed 194 spots below Ramanathan.
Ramkumar is the only Indian playing in the singles section of the 2017 Cincinnati Masters.
Paes teams up with Montreal champion Alexander Zverev
India will be represented in the doubles category by Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes apart from Sania Mirza in the women’s doubles draw.
Leander has an interesting choice of a partner. The 44-year-old has paired up with the newly-crowned Montreal Masters singles champion Alexander Zverev. The two are scheduled to open their campaign against the experienced Spanish combine of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, who conquered the French Open in 2016.
Rohan Bopanna, meanwhile, continues his partnership with Ivan Dodig of Croatia and the two are seeded seventh. The two have received a bye in the first round and will kick off proceedings against the winner of the contest between Jack Sock-Jackson Withrow and Juan Sebastian Cabal-Fabio Fognini.
Bopanna and Dodig are coming off a final appearance at the Montreal Masters last Sunday. The Indo-Croatian pair went down fighting to the two-time Grand Slam champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 4-6, 6-3, 6-10.
On the women’s side, the team consisting of two former World No. 1s - Sania Mirza and Peng Shuai - is seeded fourth. A knee injury forced the Chinese to pull out of the Rogers Cup last week after the pair made it to the quarters.
At Cincinnati, they meet the German-Ukrainian combine of Julia Georges and Olga Savchuk following a first-round bye.