BY KIRTI PATIL
Pune: Wildcard Sumit Nagal continued his brave run in the Indian Swing of the ATP Challengers as he made it to the second round while two other Indian wildcards Mukund Sasikumar and Arjun Kadhe went down tamely Earlier in the day, Alternate Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost to the top seeded James Duckworth of Australia in the Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR) Open ATP challenger Men’s 100 tennis championships being organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn tennis association (MSLTA) at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Tennis Stadium.
Wildcard Sumit Nagal justified the faith shown by the organizers as he took out former world No 78 and higher ranked Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 7-6(7-3), 4-6,6-4 in a match lasting 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Later in the day, on the centre court two other wildcards, Arjun Kadhe and Prajnesh Guneswaran lost to their respective opponents Maximilian Neuchrist of Austria and top seeded James Duckworth of Australia with contrasting scores. Neuchrist, who is also Kadhe’s Doubles Partner at the event won 6-2 , 7-5 , While Gunneswaran faltered after an exciting start against the runners up of last week’s Bengaluru Open ATP Challenger. Duckworth a regular to Pune, came back from the loss of the first set to get past India No 1 6-7 (5-7) ,6-2, 6-3 ina match lasting 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Earlier Nagal had stormed into the second round of the main draw with a fighting 7-6(7-3), 4-6, 6-4 win over Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama. After the Indian was stretched in the first set, which went into tiebreak, Nagal recovered in time to control the play at the net with a drop volley early on in the tiebreaker and put himself 2-0 ahead before a blistering forehand handed him 3-0 lead, which he extended to 6-0. Nagal, however, squandered three set points before wrapping up the set 7-6(7-3).
In the second set Nagal was broken once by the Japanese which helped him to take the set and push the match into a decider
Nagal faced some anxious moments in the third set and also saved a breakpoint serving at 4-4 , he held on to play solidly hitting two winners in a row to break Uchiyama and win the set and book a passage into round two. “I’m happy with my win and I want to go further and do well” said Nagal after the match.
In the lone upset of the day Qualifier Dominik Palan Czech Republic upset sixth seeded country mate Dalibor Svrcina 6-4,7-6 (7-4) to enter the second round
Main Draw: First Round: 1-James Duckworth (AUS, bt wc-Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND,) 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 6-3.
Dominik Palan (CZE) bt 6-Dalibor Svrcina (CZE) 6-4,7-6 (7-4).
4-Luca Nardi (ITA) bt q-Benjamin Lock (ZIM, ) 6-1, 7-5.
Maximilian Neuchrist (AUT) bt wc-Arjun Kadhe (IND,) 6-2, 7-5.
Wc-Sumit Nagal (IND)bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-4.
Lorenzo Giustino (ITA) bt Nam Hoang LY (VIE,) 6-1, 6-1.
Hamad Medjedovic (SRB) bt Hiroki Moriya (JPN) 6-3, 6-4.
q-Nikola Milojevic (SRB) bt Frederico Ferreira Silva (POR) 6-7(1-7), 7-6 7-(5), 6-4.
Dimitar Kuzmanov (BUL) btq-Makoto Ochi (JPN) 5-7, 7-6(7-1), 6-2.
Dane Sweeny (AUS) bt Jay Clarke (GBR) 6-0, 6-2.
Harold Mayot(FRA) bt Yu HsiOu hsu (TPE)6-1,6-1.
Miljan Zekic(SRB) bt Yunseong Chung (KOR) 6-3,6-4.
3-Max Purcell (AUS) btwc-Mukund Sasikumar(IND) 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.