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Somdev to face Ramanathan

Chennai: Indian wild card entrant Jeevan Nedunchezhian crashed out of the Chennai Open after a bright start soon after Ramkumar Ramanathan stormed into the singles main draw with a superb win over higher-ranked Slovakian Norbert Gombos, here, on Monday.

Left-handed Jeevan lost 5-7, 2-6 to another left-hander and world No. 85 Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic in the first singles main draw match of the tournament at the centre court.

Before Jeevan took court, Ramkumar, ranked 526, ousted Gombos, who is ranked 197, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3 after two hours and six minutes battle.

In the process, he has been pitted against India’s best singles player Somdev Dev Varman in his first round match.

Others to qualify on Monday were Swiss Henri Laaksonen and Russia’s Alexander Kudryavtsev.

In the doubles main draw, Indian wild card Saketh Myneni and his Russian partner Karen Khachanov progressed to the quarter final with a hard fought win over Spanish duo of Pablo Carreno Busta and Albert Ramos 6-1, 7-6 (7).

In other singles main draw matches on Monday, the 30-year-old top Taipei star Yen-Hsun Lu, ranked 66, defeated 89th ranked American Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-2 and 28-year-old Dudi Sela of Israel, a regular to this tournament, got past Slovakian Lukas Lacko 6-4 6-2.

In the last match of the day, Canadian fifth seed Vasek Pospisil brushed aside the challenge of British wild card Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5.

In the match between Nedunchezhian and Vesely, named ATP Star of Tomorrow for his performance this season, the Czech whipped away the Indian after assessing his rival.

The 25-year-old Nedunchezhian, ranked 305, opened up a 4-1 lead in the first set but the Czech won the next three and broke the momentum and confidence of the local lad, who was now making a lot of unforced errors.