Three Indians lead by Prajnesh Gunneswaran the top Indian star powered their way into the third round of the Chennai Open Challenger 80 Tennis being held at the SDAT Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam, Chennai.

The match between top seed Prajnesh and Daniel Altmaier of Germany was competitive.  It started with Daniel serving and he was down 15-40 right away.  He recouped with two good serves and held to lead 1-0.  Prajnesh was down a break point but he came up with a strong forehand to level the score and take the upper hand in the game, leveling the score 3 all.  Two aces helped Daniel hold serve and Pragnesh held his next service game with an ace.  The score was 4 all.  Two block returns by Prajnesh in the next game helped him put pressure on Daniel.  Prajnesh displayed a champion’s confidence to take advantage and win the crucial break of serve.  He delivered an ace to win the set 6-4.  In the second set David looked perturbed.  Prajnesh took the opportunity to play consistently and forcefully to break him in the very first game which proved to be the decisive.  Prajnesh then held serve throughout the match with a great degree of comfort to close out the set 6-4 and the match.

In the second match on the show court, 11th seeded Saketh Myneni was being challenged strongly by the local star Vijay Sundar Prashanth.  As always, Saket served impressively to start the match, though ironically with a double fault.  Vijay who put up an impressive display in the previous round held his serve and this time managed to break Saketh to lead 2-1.  In a close fourth game, Vijay managed to hold serve and go up 3-1.  It was then that Saketh got into his own, served three consecutive powerful serves followed by an ace. He raised the level of his returns to break Vijay’s serve and level scores 3 all.  From then on Saket served five aces and then broke Vijay in the tenth game with some delightful attacking return on both flanks to take the first set 6-4.  In the second Saket maintained his service momentum slammed down seven aces and made sure he held his serve throughout.  Vijay was under pressure to hold his serve and succumbed to it when he was broken in the eighth game to give Saketh the decisive break to lead 5-3.  Saketh held serve to wrap up the match.

In another match on the show court Arjun Khade delivered seven aces to register an upset win over 13th seed Jose Hernandez-Fernandes of the Dominican Republic in two relatively easy sets.  Arjun started the match with an ace and kept up the momentum to notch up a 3-0 lead.  It was then that Jose got her serve into a groove and reduced the leade to 3-1.  Arjun continued to serve impressively and hold on to his lead to win the set 6-3.  The second set was a repeat of the first, as Arjun led 3-1 once again and went on to win the set 6-2.  It was heartening to see Arjun maintaining his attacking momentum right through the match.  He had also improved his agility and footwork which should benefit him in the future. 

In the meanwhile, on Court 1 the second seed Corentin Moutet of France was stretched for over two and a half hours by Luke Saville of Australia before Corentin ran out a deserving winner.  Corentin won the first set with two breaks 6-2.  In the second he seemed to have relaxed and Luke led 3-0.  The talented Frenchman came back resoundingly to level the score 3 all.  The set moved to a tiebreak.  Luke was playing brilliantly and confidently and he won the tiebreak 7-1 and the second set.  In a topsy tervy third set, Luke once again went up 3-0 only to falter and allow Corentin to level the match.  The next four games were won by service breaks and the score was 4 all.  Corentin then managed to hold his serve to go ahead 5-4 and broke Luke to win 6-4 and the match.

In yet another match James Duckworth the seventh seed from Australia edged out Ivan Gakhov of Russia 7-6(2), 7-5.  Brydan Klein of Great Britain continued his winning lead to upset Maverick Banes of Australia the 12th seed in straight sets.

Four Indians will be in the fray in the singles event tomorrow. Top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran will take on compatriot Arjun Kadhe, 11th seeded Saketh Myneni will take Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain and Sasikumar Mukund will take on3rd seeded Mohamed Safwat of Egypt.

Men’s Singles Main Draw II Round

Arjun Kadhe (IND) Bt. [13] Jose Hernandez-Fernandez (DOM) 6-3, 6-2

[2] Corentin Moutet (FRA) Bt. Luke Saville (AUS) 6-2, 6-7(1), 6-4
[4] Gianluca Mager (ITA) Bt. Collin Altamirano (USA) 6-3, 6-1
[14] Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) Bt. [WC] Nam Hoang Ly (VIE) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
[11] Saketh Myneni (IND) Bt. [WC] N. Prashanth (IND) 6-4, 6-3
[7] James Duckworth (AUS) Bt. [Alt] Ivan Gakhov (RUS) 7-6(2), 7-5
[6] Soonwoo Kwon (KOR) Bt.[Q] Alexander Zhurbin (RUS) 6-1, 6-2
[9] Gastao Elias (POR) Bt. Blake Ellis (AUS) 6-2, 7-6(4)

[1] Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) Bt. [PR] Daniel Altmaier (GER) 6-4, 6-4

Brydan Klein (GBR) Bt. [12] Maverick Banes (AUS) 6-4, 6-1

Men’s Doubles Main Draw I Round

 [4] Andre Goransson (SWE) / Harri Heliovaara (FIN) Bt. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) / Corentin Moutet (FRA) WO

 [2] Tomislav Draganja (CRO) / Tsung-Hua Yang (TPE) Bt. [ITF] John Paul Fruttero (USA) / David Perez Sanz (ESP) 6-4, 2-6, 13-11

Ivan Gakhov (RUS) / Alexander Pavlioutchenkov (RUS) Bt. Laurynas Grigelis (LTU) / Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 6-7(8), 7-6(7), 10-