Indian Tennis players Ramkumar Ramanathan, Ankita Raina and Prajnesh Gunneswaran have progressed to the second round of the Australian Open qualifiers, whereas Karman Kaur Thandi got eliminated in the first round itself.
India No 1 Ankita Raina, who is ranked 117 in the world, took only 67 minutes to defeat Hungary’s Reka-Luca Jani 6-2, 6-2 in the women’s singles. She will lock horns with Katarina Zavatska in the second round and if she goes on to win that as well, Raina will qualify for her first grand slam main draw.
Ramkumar, the world No.188, earned a hard-fought victory as he defeated Argentine Facundo Bagnis 7-6(6), 7-5 in one hour and 53 minutes. He is supposed to taken on Chinese Taipei’s Tung Lin Wu, who is ranked 247th, in the second round.
Prajnesh, who is also India’s top-ranked male tennis player, won against Canada’s Brayden Schnur following a tough three-set battle against him. He won 6-4, 4-6 and 6-2 and his match lasted a total of two hours and 30 minutes.
Karman Kaur Thandi, however, lost against Mariam Bolkvadze, who is ranked higher than her. It was a tight contest though, as she lost 7-6(4), 7-6(4). Thandi was also playing after a long time as she was injured and the pandemic forced her to stay out of the Court further.
A wild card entry into the men’s singles main draw, however, has already been awarded to Sumit Nagal and that has assured India of representation in singles at 2021’s first Grand Slam.
The Qualifiers are currently being held in Doha and Dubai. The Australian Open will start on February 8 at Melbourne. Many renowned players will be participating in this competition again but Swiss Legend Roger Federer has decided to sit out of it, as he is yet to regain full fitness after he underwent a double knee surgery last year.