Stern test awaits Somdev

Tennis: Chennai Open: Indian ace runs into Schuettler in opener

Stern test awaits Somdev


Whose name is it now?: Croatia’s Marin Cilic (left) picks the draw for the ATP Chennai Open on Saturday while India’s Rohan Bopanna looks on. AP

The 24-year old US-based Devvarman, ranked 127 and a finalist here last year, will take on Rainer Schuettler of Germany, a former top-10 player.

Incidentally, the two were to meet in the semifinals here last year, but the German pulled out owing to injury and Devvarman, figuring in his maiden ATP final, eventually lost to Marin Cilic of Croatia, who is seeded second this time around.

“I was to play him (Schuettler) last year, but didn’t. It will be a tough match,” said Devvarman who was hopeful of going one better this year.

Bopanna, the 29-year old Bangalorean, is up against third seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, currently ranked 21, in the first round.

The 24-year old Swiss is hoping to mark his presence at the Chennai Open following his first round exit last year.

Meanwhile, top seed Robin Soderling of Sweden, the highest ranked player in the singles draw at No 8, will meet Robby Ginepri of the US while Cilic takes on Igor Kunistyn of Russia.

Long-time favourite and former French Open champion Carlos Moya, said to be on his last appearance at the Chennai Open, after receiving a wild card, faces fourth seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

The seedings: Robin Soderling (Swe) 1; Marin Cilic (Cro) 2; Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) 3; Janko Tipsarevic (Ser) 4; Dudi Sela (Isr) 5; Simon Greul (Ger) 6; Michael Berrer (Ger) 7; Rajeev Ram (US) 8.

Yuki in second round

India’s top junior tennis player Yuki Bhambri entered the second round of singles qualifying event in the Chennai Open here on Saturday. The 17-year-old Australian Open Junior champion Bhambri, took little time to settle down before prevailing over compatriot Ranjeet Virali Murugesan 7-5, 6-3. Prakash Amritraj (ranked 212) also advanced with a victory over compatriot Vishnu Vardhan.

Results (qualifying round):

First round: Prakash Amritraj (Ind) bt Vishnu Vardhan (Ind) 7-5, 6-3; Yuki Bhambri (Ind) bt Ranjeet Virali Murugesan (Ind) 7-5, 6-4; Dustin Brown (Jam) bt Todd Widom (US) 6-4, 6-3; Marsel Ilhan (Tur) bt Sanam Singh (Ind) 7-5, 3-6, 6-2; James Ward (Bri) bt Karan Rastogi (Ind) 6-2, 6-4; Ilya Marchenko (Ukr) bt Denis Gremelmayr (Ger) 6-4, 6-2; Peter Polansky (Can) bt Rohan Gajjar (Ind) 6-3, 7-6 (8); Lars Poerschke (Ger) bt Paul Capdeville (Chi) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1; Riccardo Ghedin (Ita) bt Matthias Bachinger (Ger) 6-2, 4-2 (retd); Noam Okun (Isr) bt Srirambalaji Narayanaswamy (Ind) 6-2, 6-3; Louk Sorensen (Ire) bt Benjamin Balleret (Montcourt) 6-0, 2-6, 6-2; Rik de Voest (SA) bt George Bastl (Swi) 6-2, 7-5; Jan Minra (Czech) bt Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash (Ind) 6-4, 6-2; Tatsuma Ito (Jpn) bt Alex Bogomolov Jr (US) 7-6 (1), 6-3; Donald Young (US) bt Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) 6-4, 6-4; Tsung-Hua Yang (Tpi) 6-7, 7-6, 6-4.

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