Tata Open Maharashtra, India’s only ATP 250 series event, in its inaugural year grabbed the eyeballs from around the world. The organising committee, players, facilities and people of Pune made the tournament a huge success. While Gilles Simon and Robin Haase/Matwe Middelkoop won the Singles and Doubles titles respectively, Indian players shone with their impressive Tennis as well. Let’s take a closer look at their achievements.
Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan: The Indian duo of Bhambri and Sharan started off on a perfect note as they went on to win the match against Kavcic and Djere in straight sets. But the real upset came in their Quarter-final match when they defeated top seeds, Franko Skugor and Robert Lindstedt in the Super Tiebreaker. Although they lost to Herbert/Simon in straight sets in the semis, they definitely showed glimpses of their promising talent, co-ordination and hard work. Going into the tournament, nobody gave the Indian pair a chance to go so far, but these two definitely have started off on a positive note.
Ramkumar Ramanathan: The 23-year old Chennai-man came in as a Wildcard entrant in the Tata Open Maharashtra. Facing Roberto Carbellas Baena (ranked 113) in the first round, he won a hard-fought match [7-6(7-4), 6-2]. With tournament’s top seed Marin Cilic up next, realistically, there were slim chances of the Indian progressing to the next round. Crowd came in huge numbers to support Ramanathan but Cilic was too good on that day. The promising youngster definitely learnt a lot of things while playing against the Croatian, which will eventually help his confidence in the coming tournaments.
Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan: Defending champions, Bopanna and Nedunchezhiyan were seeded fourth for the Tata Open Maharashtra. They had a tough task in their first round match where they faced Leander Paes and Purav Raja but Bopanna/Nedunchezhiyan were clinical as they rocketed to a 6-3, 6-2 win. But while playing against Gilles Simon and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the quarter-finals, the Indian pair stumbled and lost the match. There were moments of brilliance but the French pair had the last laugh. Nonetheless, they continue to be one of the best Indian doubles pair.
Ajrun Kadhe: Another Wildcard entrant, Pune’s Arjun Kadhe said ‘I am not feeling any extra pressure because of the wildcard’, before the tournament started. Playing against Yuki Bhambri in the first round, Kadhe gave his all but fell short in the end. He also contested in Doubles with France’s Benoit Paire, but were defeated by the eventual winners, Haase and Middelkoop. Winning the first set 6-1, where the Indian was proactive all around the court, the pair definitely gave an early scare. Arjun Kadhe showed a lot of promise in his first outing and he is one to look out for in the future.
With a long and challenging season in front of them, we wish all of these Indian players best of luck and hope they achieve great heights and win titles aplenty!