Free Press Journal

Somdev moves to second round, Saketh goes down fighting


New Delhi: Second seed Somdev Devvarman brushed aside the challenge of wild card Karunuday Singh in straight sets to advance to the second round while Saketh Myneni put up a spirited fight before going down in the ONGC-GAIL Delhi Open, here today.

Somdev, ranked 96, recorded a 6-2 7-5 win over his 483-ranked compatriot in his opening round in one hour and 28 minutes at the centre court of the R K Khanna tennis stadium.

Myneni, who recently made his Davis Cup debut, bowed out after a gruelling first round contest against Italian Thomas Fabbiano. The Indian wild card lost 6-7 (4) 6-7 (4) after one hour and 59 minutes of intense tennis.

Now three Indian wild cards have suffered first round defeats and only Ramkumar Ramanathan is left in the fray. He is scheduled to play later today.

Karunuday, playing only his second main draw at a Challenger event, began well by serving out the first game at love with an ace but keeping the points short was a big task against Somdev, who has an amazing ability to retrieve the ball.

Kaurunuday kept playing aggressively with big shots, a strategy which has worked against Somdev for a few players. There was the risk of committing errors with that ploy and it happened.

He dropped serve at love in the third game with a double fault on the first breakpoint and Somdev easily made it 3-1 with an easy hold in the next.

Karun was again down by a breakpoint when he hit a forehand long but saved it with good service. Good rallies followed in the next game and it was now Somdev, who was down by three breakpoints. In all, Somdev saved four chances in the sixth game to keep the lead with him.