Saketh Myneni gets top billing for ITF Lucknow event
Two-time Asian Games medallist and former Indian Davis Cupper Saketh Myneni has been given top billing for the singles main draw of the UP Open World Tennis Tour, an ITF men’s $15000 tournament, which begins on Tuesday at the Vijayantkhand Stadium here.
The 33-year-old Myneni, who won a gold medal in mixed doubles and silver in men’s doubles at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, will start his campaign against qualifier and compatriot Ishaque Eqbal. Eqbal made it to the main draw after outplaying Sai Karteek Reddy 6-4, 6-1 in the final qualifying round on Monday.
Besides Eqbal, five other Indians—Dalwinder Singh, Vinayak Sharma Kaza, Nitin Kumar Sharma, Suraj Prabodh and Lakshit Sood—qualified for the main draw of the six-day event, which marks the return of ITF (International Tennis Federation) tournaments in the country since the pandemic-halted season last year.
The most gripping match of the final qualifying round on Monday was between Moldovan Dmitrii Baskov and India’s Reddy, which lasted almost three hours in the scorching heat. The lanky Baskov had to pull out all his tricks to overcome Reddy 5-7, 7-6(5), 10-7. Among the Indian qualifiers, Singh bounced back after losing the first set to get past Great Britain’s Jonathan Binding 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 in another thriller.
Ireland’s Osgar O’Hoisin continued his good run, outplaying Italy’s Leonardo Catani 6-2, 6-1 earlier in the day. Seasoned Indian Kaza was stretched by compatriot Yash Chaurasia before he won 6-3, 6-7(1), 10-7.
Nitin outplayed Atharva Sharma 6-2, 6-2, while Prabodh defeated N Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 6-4. Lakshit, who has 11 ITF titles under his belt, accounted for his twin brother Chandril 6-3, 6-3.
RESULTS (Final qualifying round): Dalwinder Singh (Ind) bt Jonathan Binding (Gbr) 2-6, 6-4, 10-7; Nitin Kumar Sinha (Ind) bt Atharva Sharma (Ind) 6-2, 6-2; Vinayak Sharma Kaza (Ind) bt Yash Chaurasia (Ind) 6-3, 6-7 (1), 10-7; Osgar O'hoisin (Irl) bt Leonardo Catani (Ita) 6-2, 6-1; Dimitri Baskov(Mda) bt Rishi Reddy (Ind) 5-7, 7-6 (5), 10-7; Suraj R Prabodh (Ind) bt N Vijay Sundar Prashanth (Ind) 6-4, 6-4; Ishaque Eqbal (Ind) bt Sai Karteek Reddy (Ind) 6-4, 6-1; Lakshit Sood (Ind) bt Chandril Sood (Ind) 6-3, 6-3.