Pune (Maharashtra): India’s Sumit Nagal and Prajnesh Gunneswaran advanced into the second round of qualifiers of the Maharashtra Open after winning their respective matches here at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium on Saturday.
It was the Indian duo – Jayesh Pungliya and Gunneswaran – who started off the qualifiers as they faced each other in the opening game.
Gunneswaran outclassed Pungliya to win the match in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
The match saw Gunneswaran take advantage of his experience to secure the first set by winning points on his first service. In the second set, Gunneswaran did not give the youngster any chance of making a comeback as the former wrapped up the match in straight sets.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras also advanced to the second round of Qualifiers as he beat India’s Shahbaaz Khan 6-2, 6-0 in straight sets.
In the second all-Indian match of the qualifiers, 20-year-old Sumit Nagal secured a victory in straight sets 6-2, 6-3 against the experienced Divij Sharan.
Nagal started the match well and won the first set comfortably by 6-2 and wrapped up in the second set with a score line of 6-3.
In another men’s singles match, Brazil’s 29-year-old Joao Souza also started on a winning note as he beat South Korean Soonwoo Kwon in a match that went into three sets.
The last and deciding set saw both the players not giving an inch but it was the Brazilian who survived off a 7-6 to wrap up the match 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Spain’s Ricardo Ojeda Lara beat an inexperienced Sasi Kumar Mukund in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.
Carlos Taberner continued a good day for the Spanish players as he beat India’s Vishnu Vardhan in three sets 5-7, 6-2, 7-6.
It was the 30-year-old Indian who started the match well as he won the first set 7-5. However, Taberner showed his quality to make a comeback into the match by winning the second and third sets.
Ilya Ivashka from Belarus also made his way through to the next round of Qualifiers as he beat the experienced Franko Skugor in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
In the last match of the day, India’s N Sriram Balaji was up against Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro.
Balaji took the first set 6-3 but Monteiro returned the favour in the second set by winning 6-3. In the last and deciding set, both the players kept fighting until the end but it was the Brazilian Monteiro who won on the tie-break to take the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.(ANI)