Nagal, Prashanth breeze into 2nd round of Asian Indoor Games
Ashgabat, Sep 18 (PTI) Indian youngster Sumit Nagal and Vijay Sundar Prashanth opened their respective campaigns at the Asian Indoor and Martial Games with fluent wins, here today. Second seed Nagal, who has won four ITF Futures singles titles this season, crushed the challenge of Vanatau's Leniker Thomas 6-0 6-1 in a lop-sided opening round encounter. He will next take on Thailand's Palaphoom Kovapitukted. Prashanth, seeded third, also came up with a dominating show, getting the better of Pakistan's Heera Ashiq 6-1 6-4.
Each of the 15 countries, participating in the indoor tennis event, have fielded two players each in the draws. The women's singles will be played tomorrow.
India's top singles player Ankita Raina, ranked 260 in the world, has been given the top billing. She will open her campaign against Hong Kong's IP Katherine while national champion Riya Bhatia faces Vanatau's Rosalie Molbaleh.
Ankita and Prarthan Thombare are top seeds in the women's doubles and have got a first round bye.
In the men's doubles, Vishnu Vardhan and Prashanth have also been given the top billing.
"Indian tennis team has always done well at the Asian level and these games gives us another shot at winning medals for the country," Ashutosh Singh, India's coach for the men's squad told PTI.
"Our team is strong with Olympians Vishnu and Prarthana alongwith in-form Sumit. I am expecting the players to play to their potential. Medals will come if they perform well. We had a very good camp in Delhi, where we practised under flood lights as it is an indoor event. So we have given ourselves enough time to shape up and be ready." Ashutosh, who won the National Hard Courts Championship in 2007, has played alongside players like Vardhan and Prashanth. Asked about experience of being a coach with his peers, he said,"I know players closely. This helps me connect and communicate with the team easily about different game situations and team combinations