Indian top singles players Yuki Bhambri & Ramkumar Ramanathan crossed their first hurdle after defeating their respective opponents at Australian Open Qualifiers on Wednesday.
However, it was the end of the road for Sumit Nagpal & Prajnesh Gunneswaran who lost their respective matches.
Bhambri, seeded 15th, overcame Canada’s Bradely Schuner 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the opening round of the qualifiers and will next take on Spain’s Carlos Taberner.
Ramkumar, seeded 28th, got the better of American Bradley Klahn 6-7(8) 7-6(3) 6-2 in his match to set up a second round clash against French man Gleb Sakharov.
Nagal, who recently played his maiden ATP World Tour event in Pune, went down fighting 6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6 to Italy’s Alessandro Giannessi.
Prajnesh made a good start but lost steam as the match progressed, losing 6-1, 1-6, 2-6 to Germany’s Tobias at Australian Open Qualifiers.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, India had a strong contingent that featured in the main draws of Slams, with the likes of brothers Anand and Vijay Amritraj, Jasjit Singh, Sashi Menon and Ramesh Krishnan regularly making the cut. But now, India is consistently fighting to mark their name on the World’s map.
“At that level every match is a battle,” says India Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi. “Let them take one step at a time, but it will be great to see two of them qualify.”
According to him, it will be great to have two Indian players in singles draw but let’s see how far Yuki Bhambri & Ramkumar Ramanathan will progress.
Australian Open Qualifiers Indian Results :
Yuki Bhambri def. Bradely Schuner (1-6, 6-3, 6-4)
Ramkumar Ramanathan def. Bradley Klahn (6-7(8) 7-6(3) 6-2)
Nagal lost to Alessandro Giannessi (6-7 (5), 6-3, 3-6)
Prajnesh lost to Tobias (6-1, 1-6, 2-6)