Home favourite Sumit Nagal made a dominating start to his Bengaluru Open 2024 campaign with a comfortable straight set win over France’s Geoffrey Blancaneaux at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Indian, who broke in the world top-100 with a title triumph in Chennai last week, was clinical in his service games and exploited his opponents second serves to win the singles opening round clash 6-2, 6-2.
Nagal, seeded second here, earned a total of eight break points in the opening set and converted two of them before pocketing the set with a comfortable hold in the eighth game.
Nagal continued this momentum in the second set and broke Blancaneaux in the very first game of the set to set the tone.
His serve came under pressure for the first time in the fourth game of the second set but Nagal saved three break points to ultimately take a 3-1 lead and then sailed to victory in an hour and 28 minutes.
Nagal will now take on Hong Kong’s Coleman Wong in the second round clash. Wong also takes a straight-set victory (6-4, 7-6(4)) against Rafael Collignon of Belgium.
In the day’s other matches, former World No. 25 Canada’s Vasek Pospisil survived a scare in the opening round while Australian former Top-20 ranked Bernard Tomic failed to advance to despite a strong start in his first-round clash against Tristan Boyer of USA.
Pospisil, who has been given a wild card in the competition, got the better of qualifier Eric Vanshelboim of Ukraine 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 in two hours 38 minutes while the 31-year-old Tomic, who came through qualifying, went down 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 against an opponent nine years younger than him.
In the doubles category, India’s wild card entrants Sai Karteek Reddy Ganta and Manish Sureshkumar went down 2-6, 6-7 (8) against the French combination of Constantin Kouzmine and Maxime Janvier.
Meanwhile, the third seeded pair of N.Sriram Balaji and his german partner Andre Bergemann suffered another early round exit (6-3, 4-6, 10-12) in a very close match against the same German pair of Jakob Schnaitter and Mark Wallner, who knocks them out in the quarterfinal of Chennai Open last week.