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Indian tennis round-up: Ramkumar Ramanathan loses at Delray Beach, Prajnesh Gunneswaran stuns fourth seed at Kyoto

269   //    20 Feb 2018, 14:47 IST

ramkumar ramanathan
Ramkumar Ramanathan

Ramkumar Ramanathan’s good run at the Delray Beach Open came to an end when he lost to World No. 75 Donald Young in the first round of this ATP 250 tournament in Florida, USA on Monday. The India No. 2 could not provide much resistance to Young and went down 1-6, 2-6 in 1 hour 8 minutes.

The World No. 140, who was a qualifier at this tournament, had pretty shoddy statistics on his serve. He had only 55% of his first serves in and conceded five breaks of serve.

It was a farcry from the 23-year-old’s brilliant performance in qualifying where he upset the top seed Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 6-3 in the final round. The young Indian had thundered 10 aces in that match and converted five out of his nine break point opportunities.

This was Ramkumar’s fourth tournament of the year. He made it to the pre-quarter-finals of the Tata Open Maharashtra and won two rounds of qualifying at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Big win for Gunneswaran

At the $50,000 Kyoto Challenger in Japan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran had a great start to his campaign as he knocked out the fourth seed Stephane Robert in the first round on Tuesday. 84 places separate the 158th ranked Frenchman and the 242nd ranked Chennai tennis ace.

But Gunneswaran did not let the gulf in the rankings come in the way as he held his nerves for a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win in 1 hour 17 minutes. The 28-year-old won 77% of his first serve points and earned two service breaks.

Earlier on Monday, Gunneswaran also made a winning start in doubles. N Sriram Balaji and Gunneswaran beat the Japanese wildcard combine of Daiki Hayashi and Kosuke Shibano 7-5, 6-1.

The pair might meet the second seeds Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Christopher Rungkat in the second round, should the latter get past Zhe Li and Stephane Robert in their opener.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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