Davis Cup player Vishnu Vardhan, who partnered veteran Leander Paes in the doubles competition at the London Olympics, leads the Indian challenge as the top seed in the CCI ITF men's USD 15,000 tennis tournament, whose qualification rounds commenced today.
Vishnu, who helped India vanquish New Zealand in the Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1 relegation play-off with a winning effort in singles as well as doubles, is the highest ATP ranked player at 267 in the 13th Futures tournament organised in the country and being held at the Cricket Club of India. The main draw starts on October 22 and the finals are slated on October 27.
Seeded second behind the 25-year-old six-footer from Secunderabad is no. 1 Indonesian Davis Cupper Christopher Rungkat, ranked 294th. Thirteen Indians, including Vishnu, have secured berths in the 20 direct entries along with four wild cards, all from the host country, in the main draw of 32 in singles, which would be completed by eight from the three-stage qualifiers, where former Davis Cup team member Vivek Shokeen is the top seed at 1184.
Among the direct entrants is national men's singles champion Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of Tamil Nadu while the man he beat in the finals at Delhi is Arjun Kadhe from Pune.
The second USD 15,000 ITF Futures of the Indian season and the 14th in the country is scheduled at Pune's Solaris Club from October 29 to November 4. The Indian direct entrants in main draw and their rankings and seeding in bracket are: Vishnu Vardhan (267, 1), N Sriram Balaji (324, 3), Saketh Myneni (385, 4), Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (395, 6), Vijayant Malik (428, 7), Ranjeet Virali-Murugesan (451, 8), N Vijay Sundar Prashanth (530, 12), Ashwin Vijayraghavan (836, 14), Kaza Vinayak Sharma (885, 15), Sidharth Rawat (932, 17), Ramkumar Ramanathan (1046, 18), Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash (1091, 19), Ajai Selvaraj (1131, 20). Foreign entrants in main draw: Christopher Rungkat (Indonesia, 294, 2), Liang-Chi Huang (Taipei, 387, 5), Mate Pavic (Croatia, 465, 9), Nicolas Reissig (Austria, 515, 10), Reid Carleton (USA, 518, 11), James Marsalek (Britain, 581, 13), Chieh-Fu Wang (Taipei, 912, 16).
Wild card recipients: P C Vignesh, 1192, 21), Kunal Anand (1272, 22), Arjun Kadhe (1422, 23) and Purav Raja (24). Results (1st qualifying round) (all from India unless stated otherwise): William Kendall (USA) bt J Panigrahi 6-0 6-0; Rohan Gide bt Rohit Jain 6-2 6-2; Sagar Ahuja bt Sameer Paranjape 6-3 2-6 6-3; Shekhar H Jaiswal bt Dinesh Suyal 6-0 6-1; Arpit Sharma bt Bhomik Saini 6-1 6-1; Ting Yu Chuang (Tpe) bt Bharatram Balajee 6-3 6-1; Gagan Sharma bt Dipanshu Garg 6-1 6-2; Yash Deshpande bt Prashant Soodamani 6-0 6-1; Chinmay Pradhan bt Suyash Chopra 6-2 6-0; Bruhad Mankad bt Aroon Khatter 6-3 6-4; Peng Chih Hsueh (Tpe) bt Vikram Naidu Srinivas 6-3 6-2; Yashas Umesh bt Prashant Sawant 4-6 6-4 6-1; Senthil Kumar Vijayarajeshwaran bt Neishit Vakil 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-3; Anvit Bendre bt Maninder Singh 6-1 6-1; Sebastian Ofner (Aut) bt Shahbaaz Khan 6-3 6-4.