| Harsh Mankad recorded a creditable win
Bangalore: Harsh Mankad caused a major upset in the first round of the Indian Oil Servo ATP Challenger meet Monday, ousting third seed Jean-Francois Bachelot of France 6-3, 6-4.
Vishal Uppal, though, bowed out after a creditable fight against fourth seed Ivo Heuberger. The Swiss, a former top-100 player, survived a second set blackout to win 6-3, 1-6, 6-7 (7-2).
A wild-card entrant here, the 457th-ranked Mankad was in fine nick.
He broke Bachelot, ranked 300 places above the Indian, in the fourth game to go 3-1 up. But the Frenchman broke back immediately and held serve to level scores.
Thereafter, Mankad lifted his game to claim three games and the set.
Bachelot struggled to find his rhythm in the second set also, giving vent to his frustration by banging his racket to the ground.
The Indian Davis Cupper, who lost his second singles berth to Rohan Bopanna this year, remained focussed and maintained his steady game to script a fine win.
Mankad, the son of former cricketer Ashok and tennis champion Nirupama, is ranked second among Indians.
The 26-year-old Uppal, on the other hand, had only himself to blame. He had his chances to shock Heuberger but didn’t take them.
After splitting the first two sets, Uppal was up 4-2, 40-15 in the decider. A loss in concentration cost the Indian dear as his opponent, ranked 160 in the world, rallied to force a tie-breaker in which he prevailed.
Second seed Gregory Carraz of France, eighth seed Gilles Elseneer (belgium), Alun Jones (Austria) and Yves Allegro (Switzerland) also advanced to the second round.
Carraz defeated Massimo Dell’acqua of Italy 6-4, 6-4 and Elseneer ousted Noam Behr (Israel) 7-5, 6-1.
Jones overcame Thailand’s Danai Udomchoke 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 and Allegro got past Doug Bohaboy (US) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4.