Balaji, Sanam make confident start

Sriram Balaji and Sanam Singh, the top two seeds respectively, made a rousing start to their campaign in the $10,000 ITF Dharwad Open here on Tuesday.

While Balaji took little time in packing off compatriot Ajai Selvaraj 6-0, 6-4, Davis Cupper Sanam notched up an equally impressive 6-2, 6-1 win over Rajat Maheswari at the Dharwad District Lawn Tennis Association courts.

Fourth-seeded Vijayant Malik also started on a bright note, cruising to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Fariz Mohammed.

However, seventh seed Michael Shahbaz of the United States and Ashwin Vijayaraghavn, seeded eighth, bit the dust in contrasting styles.

While Shahbaz at least gave a fight before surrendering 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 1-6 to Arjun Khade, Vijayaraghavn exited in a whimper, crashing to a 4-6, 4-6 defeat at the hands of Torsten Wietoska of Germany. In another match Ramkumar Ramanathan advanced into the second round with a 6-2, 6-3 win over William Kendall of the United States.

Russia’s Sergei Krotiouk also opened his campaign with a straight sets win, knokcing out Lorenz Ilg of Germany 6-4, 6-2 in the first round to move ahead.

Results (prefix denotes seeding, Indians unless mentioned): Singles, first round: 1-Sriram Balaji bt Ajai Selvaraj 6-0, 6-4; Jeroen Benard (Ned) bt Neeraj Elangovan 6-2, 6-3; Sidharth Rawat bt Kunal Anand 6-2, 7-5; Ramkumar Ramanathan bt William Kendall (US) 6-2, 6-3; Vignesh Peranmallur bt Shahbaaz Khan 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; 4-Vijayant Malik bt Fariz Mohammed 6-2, 6-1; 2-Sanam Singh bt Rajat Maheshwari 6-2, 6-1; Arjun Khade bt 7-Michael Shabaz (US) 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-1; Sergei Krotiouk (Rus) bt Lorenz Ilg (Ger) 6-4, 6-2; Torsten Wietoska (Ger) bt 8-Ashwin Vijayaraghavn 6-4, 6-4; Lakshit Sood bt Jatin Dahiya 7-6 (7-3), 6-4; Luca Margaroli (Sui) bt Vikram Naidu 6-7 (5-7), 6-1, 7-5.

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