Kadhe shocks Ramkumar

Kadhe shocks Ramkumar

Arjun Kadhe

Local favourite Arjun Kadhe stunned second seed Ramkumar Ramanathan for the biggest victory of his career while fast-emerging Sasi Kumar Mukund knocked out last week's runner-up Saketh Myneni at the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger here on Tuesday.

This is the best win for Kadhe in terms of beating a higher-ranked player as he sent packing World No 130 Ramkumar 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round of the USD 50,000 hard court tournament.

Prior to Tuesday's win, the most significant win for the 370th-ranked Kadhe was against World No 200 Pedja Krstin.

It has been a tough season for Ramkumar and it ended with a whimper. Kadhe, who is playing his second season after returning from US Collegiate circuit, was fluent with his strokes, especially the deep returns.

Ramkumar served big but unforced errors did not help his cause. Kadhe, to his credit, was well prepared for his opponent.

Mukund, playing with a stiff back, pulled off a big win over Myneni, beating his big-serving opponent 6-4, 7-6(1) after saving a set point in the opening game.

While Myneni was fluent with his strokes, it was Mukund who stood out with his court coverage and sharp returns. Mukund next plays sixth seed Jay Clarke of Great Britain.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, the new number one player of the country, had a tough first round in which he prevailed 6-4, 6-4 against Taipei’s Tsung-Hua Yang.

It was yet another first-round defeat for Sumit Nagal, who went down fighting 5-7, 2-6 against top seed Radu Albot.