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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ramkumar qualifies for Chennai Open, faces Somdev in first round

Ramkumar qualifies for Chennai Open, faces Somdev in first round

Last updated on: December 30, 2013 23:41 IST

Indian wild card entrant Jeevan Nedunchezhian crashed out of the Chennai Open after a bright start soon after Ramkumar Ramanathan stormed into the singles main draw with a superb win over higher-ranked Slovakian Norbert Gombos in Chennai.

Left-handed Jeevan lost 5-7, 2-6 to another left-hander and world number 85 Jiri Vesely of Cezch Republic in the first singles main draw match of the tournament at the centre court.

Before Jeevan took court, Ramkumar, ranked 526, ousted Gombos, who is ranked 197, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3 after two hours and six minutes battle.

However, he has been pitted against India's best singles player Somdev Devvarman in his first round match.

Others to qualify today were Swiss Henri Laaksonen and Russia's Alexander Kudryavtsev.

In the doubles main draw, Indian wild card Saketh Myneni and his Russian partner Karen Khachanov progressed to the quarterfinal with a hard fought win over Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Albert Ramos 6-1, 7-6 (7).

In other singles main draw matches today, 30-year-old top Taipei star Yen-Hsun Lu, ranked 66, defeated 89th ranked American Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-2 and 28-year-old Dudi Sela of Israel, a regular to this tournament, got past Slovakian Lukas Lacko 6-4 6-2.

In the last match of the day, Canadian fifth seed Vasek Pospisilbrushed aside the challenge of British wild card Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5.

In the match between Nedunchezhian and Vesely, named ATP star of Tuesday’s award for his performance this season, the Czech whipped away the Indian after assessing his rival.

The 25-year-old Nedunchezhian, ranked 305, opened up a 4-1 lead in the first set but the Czech won the next three and broke the momentum and confidence of the local lad, who was now making  a lot of unforced errors.

Having made it 4-4, the Czech broke Nedunchezhian in the 11th game and then steamrolled the Indian in the next set.

At the post match media conference, Nedunchezhian said he had a long road ahead to able to do well at this level.

"I need to work harder on my backhand and the moment that I can find it and improve upon my physical and mental strengths. I am sure I can progress to the next levels.  Of course, I will be concentrating on playing in Challenger events events and gain more ATP points," he said.

Image: Ramkumar Ramanathan

Photograph courtesy: Aircel Chennai Open on Twitter