Sanam serves notice with key victory

  • Sharmistha Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Feb 14, 2013 00:56 IST

It was a good day for Sanam Singh. Playing his first $15000 ITF Futures of the year in Melbourne, the 25-year-old thrashed sixth seed Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia in the first round.

The 300-ranked Indian faced little resistance, ousting the 23-year-old (251), currently the best player in his country, 6-3, 6-1.

Winning a first-round match so easily may not seem a big deal, especially for someone who began the 2012 season with three consecutive ITF Futures victories. However, the player he's beaten will make the Davis Cup selection committee take note.

Drubbed 1-4 at home against South Korea, India will host Indonesia in the Asia/Oceania Group I relegation play-off tie in Bangalore in two months' time.

"It's a fantastic win for Sanam," Davis Cup non-playing captain SP Misra told HT.

"He's been playing really well the last few months. He didn't lose a match in the Maharashtra Premier League."

When the selection committee meets on Feb 23, Sanam's easy victory will surely be a talking point.

"The fact that he's beaten Indonesia's best player so easily should surely count when the committee discusses the selection for the April tie," Misra added.

The tie will be played on synthetic hard courts, which also favours Sanam's strong baseline play. Sanam's Davis Cup win/loss record stands 1-1 in singles.

Despite losing to Uzbek Denis Istomin in April last year on debut, he thrashed Kiwi Artem Sitak in Chandigarh a few months later.

Part of the 11 top players who recently rebelled against the AITA wanting more player rights, Sanam was present in the stands during the Korean drubbing in Delhi.

But with the parent body accepting all demands, the rebels have made themselves available for the April tie.

 

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