Error prone Sasikumar Mukund showed some fight in the second set but it was not enough as he lost 2-6, 6-7 (7-9) to Taro Daniel of Japan in the first round of the Tata Open Maharashtra tennis at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi here on Wednesday.
Mukund, world ranked 229, had an impressive start as he served at 40-love in the first and also saved triple break points in the third game to lead 2-1. However, after that, inconsistency cost him as he was broken in the fifth game.
Mukund, who was given a wild card, lapsed into double faults, and over-hit and missed overhead smashes in a disappointing first ATP World Tour game for the 23-year-old.
“Tennis was disappointing. Things did not go as per my game plan, otherwise I had the right attitude going into the match. I was not at all nervous, I had a good start but playing long rallies did not work in my favour. I should have played differently. I kept on doing small mistakes and it mattered in the end,” Mukund said.
After losing the first set 2-6, Mukund came out with a better approach in the second set, producing forehand cross-court winners at regular intervals.
Till 5-all he almost matched the intensity of Daniel before he was broken 40-love in the 11th game. Mukund returned favour in the next game as he broke Daniel to force a tie-breaker.
In the tie-breaker, Mukund was 5-4 up before Daniel fired an ace to level at 5-all and then at 7-all, the Indian made two errors at the net as Daniel surged to win the tie-break 9-7 for the match.
Second seed Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania entered the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany, who had ousted Ivo Karlovic in the first round.
Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja defeated alternate pair Sumit Nagal andEgor Gerasimov of Belarus 7-6(6), 6-3 to reach the doubles quarter-finals.
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