SIMON, KUKUSHKIN, RAMANATHAN SAIL INTO SECOND ROUND OF TATA OPEN MAHARASHTRA


SIMON, KUKUSHKIN, RAMANATHAN SAIL INTO SECOND ROUND

The first day of the Main Draws at Tata Open Maharashtra saw nine matches take place at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium as Union Minister Nitin Gadkari made his presence felt at the Opening Ceremony with much pomp. With the tournament being organised in Pune for the first time, the crowd came in large numbers to show their support and this is how the games unfolded:

Nicolas Kicker vs Marton Fucsovics
This match promised a lot at the start but ended up being a one-sided affair. Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics took the first set (6-0) in quick time to set the pace of the match. Kicker gave his all but it just wasn’t his day. Fucsovics went on to win the second set (6-3) and advanced to the second round easily.

Nicolas Jarry vs Pablo Andujar
In an even first set, Jarry and Andujar matched each other with Andujar winning it 7-6(7-4) in the end. Jarry came back in the match strongly to win the second set 6-4. With momentum on his side, Nicolas Jarry advanced to the second round winning the third set 7-5 to script a fine comeback.

Mikhail Kukushkin vs Radu Albot
7th seed, Mikhail Kukushkin made sure he sails into the second round by beating Radu Albot in straight sets. The Kazakh won the first set quite convincingly (6-2) and had to fight hard in the second. But he kept his cool and won the second set 7-6(7-4) in the tiebreaker.

Ricardo Ojeda Lara vs Jiri Vesely
Sixth seed, Jiri Vesely was a favourite to win against Ricardo Ojeda Lara but the Spaniard had different plans. He totally dominated the first set and won it 6-3 to everyone’s surprise. Continuing his intensity in the second set, he eventually went on to win it in the tiebreaker (7-5).

Marco Cecchinato vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Cecchinato and Herbert produced an entertaining contest on Court 2. In a neck-to-neck first set, Herbert applied himself better and won the set in the tiebreaker (7-4). But Cecchinato clawed his way back in the game and won the second set 7-6(8-6). Herbert then played some great shots to win the third set easily (6-2) and advance to the second round.

N. Sriram Balaji / Vishnu Vardhan vs Adil Shamasdin / Neal Skupski
The Indian pair of N. Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan started the game positively and won the first set 6-3. But their opponents gave a tough fight in the second set before winning it 7-6(10-8). With the match going into the Super Tiebreaker, the Indian pair faltered at the wrong time with Shamasdin and Skupski going on to win 10-6.

Gilles Simon vs Tennys Sandgren
Gilles Simon was the favourite to win the first round match against America’s Tennys Sandgren and the Frenchman did not disappoint. After starting confidently, Simon went on to win the first set 6-4. Although Sandgren played good tennis, he failed to be consistent. Simon wrapped up things in the second set as he won it 6-1.

Arjun Kadhe / Benoit Paire vs Robin Hasse / Matwe Middelkoop
The Indo-French pair pressed from the start and surprised one and all who were watching them. They were aggressive, confident and made sure they win the first set by a good margin (6-1). With a lot to play for, the Dutch pair stepped up their game. They won the important points of the second set before winning it 7-5. The match went into the Super Tiebreaker and the Dutch duo saved their best game for the last to win it 10-7. Kadhe and Paire tried hard but could not put up to their opponent’s tactics. In spite of the loss, the crowd in Pune thoroughly enjoyed the match with Kadhe and Paire entertaining them to the fullest.

Ramkumar Ramanathan vs Roberto Carballes Beana
In the last match of the day, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Roberto Carballes Beana matched each other in every aspect. The match was intensely fought in the first set with both players putting their best skills at display. The set went into tie breaker and Ramanathan, who had a strong backing from the crowd, won the tiebreaker 7-4. Things became easy in the second set with Ramanathan pushing hard for victory. He won the second set 6-2 and advanced to the second round of Tata Open Maharashtra.

Tomorrow promises to be a cracker of a day as some of the top seeded players like Kevin Anderson, Leander Paes, Yuki Bhambri and Rohan Bopanna would battle it out on the court. Make sure you follow Tata Open Maharashtra