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Tennis

Chennai Open ATP Challenger: Prajnesh, Ramkumar hope to make an impact

As many as 10 Indians are in the fray in the singles qualifying event.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan lost against Finland at the Davis Cup tie
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Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan

By

PTI

Updated: 13 Feb 2023 4:53 AM GMT

Indian players Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramanathan Ramkumar will hope to make the best use of their wild card entries into the singles main draw and make a deep run in the Chennai Open ATP Challenger beginning here on Monday.

While Gunneswaran, who figured in the Davis Cup tie against Denmark recently and secured a win in the final singles match, albeit a dead rubber, opens his campaign against Jay Clarke of Great Britain.

Ramkumar, on the other hand, faces a tough task against Dimitar Kuzumanov of Bulgaria, the eighth seed.

Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei, ranked 115 in the world, is the top seed. He faces the Croatian Nino Serdarusic in the first round. Second-seeded Australian James Duckworth faces a qualifier first up.

Other players to watch out for in the singles draw are Peniston Ryan of Great Britain, Austrian Sebastian Ofner, the talented 19-year old Luca Nardi of Italy and Max Purcell, the Wimbledon doubles champion in 2022.

Another attraction would be the 19-year old Leo Borg, son of Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg.

In the doubles draw, the Indian pair of Jeevan Nedunchezian and Shriram Balaji, who made the second round at the Australian Open, has been given the top billing and start as the favourites. If things go according to the script, they could run into the second-seeded Australians Max Purcell and Marc Polmans in the final.

Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) President Vijay Amritraj said the tournament presented an opportunity for Indian players to make an impact and earn ATP points. As many as 10 Indians are in the fray in the singles qualifying event.

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