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Mankad advances; Prakash, Bopanna bow out

September 24, 2003 22:12 IST

Harsh Mankad advanced to the second round while Rohan Bopanna lost in the first round of the Asian Tennis Championships in Tashkent on Wednesday.

Prakash Amritraj, a wild card entrant at the $560,000 ATP Tour event in Bangkok, lost to Nicolas Thomann of France 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the first round.

After the high of stretching world number 14 Martin Verkerk to five-sets in the Davis Cup, Bopanna was brought down to earth with a thud by an unranked qualifier in the first round.

Bopanna, the fourth seed, saw his chances of winning the singles title -- which carried a reward of main draw wild card for the Australian Open Grand Slam next year -- go up with the withdrawal of top seed Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei, but suffered an upset defeat at the hands of Uzbekistan's Denis Salimsakov 4-6, 4-6.

Bopanna was suffering from an upset stomach and head cold but refused to offer any excuse for the defeat.

The Indian challenge, however, was sustained by another Davis Cupper, Harsh Mankad, the fifth seed, who defeated Seung Hoon Ho of Korea 6-1, 6-2.

The three Indian women -- Isha Lakhani, Ankita Bhambri an Megha Vakharia -- had lost their singles matches on Tuesday.

Isha lost to Thailand's Choptan Wilawan 6-7, 5-7; Megha was blown away 6-1, 6-4 by Lam Po Kuen of Hong Kong while Ankita was a set up before going down to Uzbek Ivanna Isroilova 6-1, 3-6, 1-6.

The trio however made up for their disappointment by winning their doubles matches on Wednesday.

Isha and Megha defeated Chat tida Thimjapo and Choptang Wilawan of Thailand 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Ankita partnered Lam to easily beat Eleonora Stidjemileva and Alexandra Sorotyaga of Uzbekistan in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.

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