India’s singles specialists, including second seed Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina, made impressive starts to their campaign, progressing to the pre-quarterfinals of the tennis event at the 18th Asian Games here today.
Having got first-round byes yesterday, Indians had a busy day with matches in both singles and doubles.
Ramanathan, who reached the finals of the Hall of Fame Championships last month, won the first set 6-0 against Wong Hong Kit but was stretched by the Hong Kong player in the second set before getting past 7-6 (4) on a tie-break in a round of 32 match.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, the 28-year-old from Chennai, had it easy against Indonesia Rifqi M Fitriadi, winning 6-2, 6-0 to progress to the last 16.
India’s first match of the day was of Ankita Raina, who beat Beatrice Gumulya 6-2, 6-4 in a round of 32 match lasting almost two hours.
Then it was the turn of Karman Kaur Thandi who had little difficulty in getting past Mongolian Jargal Altansarnai, 6-1, 6-0.
In men’s doubles, Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal, who formed a pairing at the last-minute, cleared the opening hurdle. They defeated Nepal’s Abhishek Batola and Samrakshy Bajracharya 6-1, 6-1 to reach the round of 16.
However, there was disappointment for India in the women’s doubles as Rutuja Bhonsale and Pranjala Yadlapalli lost to Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech and Nicha Lertpitaksinchai after winning the first set. They eventually went down 6-4, 3-6, 9-11.
Men’s doubles top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan played their opening match in the pleasant evening weather.
The gold medal contenders had a straightforward outing against the Indonesian pairing of Ignatius Anthony Susanto and David Agung Susanto, winning 6-3, 6-3 in 53 minutes.
Tomorrow, Indians will be in action in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)