Wimbledon 2018: Ankita Raina crashes out, Vardhan and Balaji book berth in main draw of Men's doubles
Ankita Raina thrashed Maia Lumsden of the United Kingdom in the first round of qualifiers. Ankita won 6-2, 6-1 in straight sets and finished off the match in just 48 minutes. However, this was a relatively easy tie for the Indian as Maia is ranked 408 in singles.
India's number 1 has six singles and thirteen doubles titles to her name playing in the ITF tours. Her career best of 181 shows that she has the caliber.
The next challenge for the 25-year-old came in the form of the Russian Vitalia Diatchenko. She is much higher ranked (132) compared to Ankita (213) in Women's singles. However, Ankita gave her a tough fight, even winning the second set. She ultimately lost 2-6, 7-5, 4-6 in the grueling 2 hours 23 minutes encounter.
With the exit of the Ahmedabad-born player, India's hopes in the Women's singles have also been extinguished at the Wimbledon.
However, there is some good news for Indian fans as the doubles pairing of Vishnu Vardhan and N.Sriram Balaji are still in contention. They brushed aside the Austria-Peru duo of Gerald Melzer/Sergio Galdos 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of qualifiers.
Their next challenge for them was in the form Igor Zelenay/Denys Molchanov in the second round of qualifiers. They were up to this as well and played with great charisma to defeat the duo with the same score as they had in the first round, 6-3, 6-4.
Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan along with his USA partner Austin Krajicek also played well. After a 7-6(3), 7-3 drubbing of UK duo Aidan McHugh/Marcus Willis in the first round, the Indo-US pair defeated another UK duo of Edward Corrie/Lloyd Glasspool in the second round. This time the scoreline was 7-6(5), 6-3 in a match that lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Jeevan and Krajicek have combined to form a formidable pair and were coming into this tournament on a high after winning the Ilkley trophy and also reaching the Nottingham Challenger final.
Vishnu Vardhan and N Sriram Balaji, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan are three Indians to watch out for as they have secured their berth the main draw in Men's doubles of the coveted tournament.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran was eliminated in the first round itself as he bowed out to the German, Tobias Kamke, losing 1-6, 4-6.
20-year-old Sumit Nagal also suffered a heavy 2-6, 0-6 defeat to the Polish player Kamil Majchrzak and got eliminated in the first round of qualifiers. However, there is still a long way to go for the youngster and he is bound to get better with time. World Rank 125, Ramkumar Ramanathan had a difficult challenge in the form of Simone Bolelli of Italy and he too exited the competition after the latter prevailed 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of qualifiers.
The seedings are also out for the Wimbledon:
In the men's singles, Roger Federer (SUI) has been seeded 1st followed by his nemesis Rafael Nadal (ESP) at 2nd and Marin Cilic (CRO) seeded 3rd.
In the women's singles, Simona Halep (ROM) was seeded first, Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) second, and Garbine Muguruza (ESP) seeded 3rd. Maria Sharapova (RUS) got the seeding of 24, while Serena Williams (USA) was seeded 25th.