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Bopanna, Mankad fall

New Delhi: After the euphoria of 16-year old Karan Rastogi entering the main draw, reality struck home for India as the seasoned Rohan Bopanna and Harsh Mankad bowed out of the $25,000 Indian Oil Servo ATP Challenger tennis tournament here on Tuesday.

Bopanna simply “had an off day” as he went down to Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke 5-7, 2-6 while Dmitry Vlasov ousted Mankad 6-4, 6-2 in first round matches at the DLTA courts.

Vishal Uppal, the third of the four wild cards, went down 1-6, 3-6 to top seed John van Lottum of the Netherlands.

The desi challenge, however, was sustained with some American help as Prakash Amritraj, son of the US-based Vijay Amritraj, won 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 over Noam Behr of Israel.

It remains to be seen how far Amritraj, the only Indian left in the draw now, progresses this week. He had entered the second round of a $50,000 tournament in Texas last season, and will derive inspiration from the fact that Mankad reached the semi-final last week in Bangalore.

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