It was a mixed day for India at the ATP Bengaluru Open I with Arjun Kadhe bringing cheers by storming into the main round while wild card entrant Saketh Myneni went down without a whimper against Italian Gian Marco Moroni in the opening round.
Myneni lost 1-6, 1-6 to Moroni in a first round match, Khade got the better of Alexander Erler of Austria 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of qualifiers.
As the number of Indians in the fray reduced to six amongst the 32 vying for the coveted title, Khade faces fifth seed Altug Celikblek of Turkey in the first match on Tuesday.
Meanwhile in the other first round matches played at the KSLTA courts here on Monday, fancied players — third seed Aleksandar Vukic of Australia and fourth seed Hugo Grenier of France — marched into the pre-quarterfinals with contrasting wins.
While Vukic won over his countrymate Jason Kubler 7-5, 6-4, Grenier dropped a set before beating Vit Kopriva of the Czech Republic with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 margin.
Moroni didn’t give a semblance of a chance as Myneni was found wrong-footed on many occasions and committing several unforced errors. Taking advantage of an error-prone Myneni, Moroni almost blanked the lanky Indian in both the sets.
In a fast-paced game, Hugo Grenier dominated the first set with his superb moves on the court and grabbed the first set even before his opponent could realise his mistakes. Stung by the reverse, Kopriva paid him back in the same coin, taking the second set 6-2. The decider saw both the players indulge in an intense battle where the better-ranked player pulled away at the fag end of the decider to clinch the issue in his favour.
Earlier in the day after another Indian Mukund Sasikumar had lost to Borna Gojo of Croatia, Khade with his strong forehand and some good serves outplayed Austrian Alexander Erler 6-3, 6-4. The margin could have been wider but for some unforced errors by the Indian player.
Main Round (Round of 32):
Gian Marco Moroni (ITA) bt WC-Saketh Myneni (IND) 6-1, 6-1; 3-Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) bt Jason Kubler (AUS) 7-5, 6-4; 4-Hugo Grenier (FRA) bt Vit Kopriva (CZE) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4; Chun-Hsin Tseng (TPE) bt Jay Clarke (GBR) 6-3, 6-1; Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) bt Marc Polmans (AUS) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.
Gabriel Decamps (BRA) bt 1-Frederico Ferreira Silva (POR) 7-5, 6-4; Antoine Bellier (SUI) bt Steven Diez (CAN) 6-1, 6-3; 3-Borna Gojo (CRO) bt 8-Mukund Sasikumar (IND) 6-3, 6-2; Rio Noguchi (JPN) bt Raul Brancaccio (ITA) 5-7, 7-6 (7), 7-5; 5-Malek Jaziri (TUN) bt Andrew Harris (AUS) 6-4, 6-4; Alt-Arjun Kadhe (IND) bt Alexander Erler (AUT) 6-3, 6-4.