17-Year-Old Sumit Nagal Shows Promise

This week’s recap in Indian tennis takes a look at the results of Indian players across the ITF circuit as well as the announcement of the doubles wild cards for the Aircel Chennai Open and the latest ranking updates.

Sumit Nagal

Sumit Nagal takes his first steps into the professional circuit

17-year-old Sumit Nagal Reaches ITF Qatar Quarter-Finals

At the ITF Qatar Futures, 17-year-old Sumit Nagal made the headlines as he begins taking his first steps on the professional circuit. Nagal, ranked No. 1668 in the world and playing only his fifth event on the pro tour, upset World No. 353 David Rice in the first round and went on to reach the quarter-finals where he lost in a tough three-setter to Maximilian Neuchrist 7-6, 3-6, 4-6.

At the same event, second seeded Ramkumar Ramanathan lost earlier than expected as he went down to fifth seed Guilliame Ruffin, a former World No. 81 from France. Sriram Balaji, Karunuday Singh and Vinayak Kaza all won a round before losing in the second while Singh also reached the doubles semi-finals with Giorgio Portaluri. At the ITF Futures in Senegal, Chandril Sood reached the second round while Sagar Ahuja lost in the first round of the singles & doubles events.

Sharmadaa Balluu Reaches Quarters of ITF Navi Mumbai

On the women’s side, the ITF circuit travelled to Navi Mumbai for a $25K event but local players failed to make most of the opportunity to rack up some points on home soil. There were 7 Indians in the main draw but only wild card Sharmadaa Baluu managed to reach the quarter-finals. Baluu upset fourth seed Manon Arcangioli in the first round and went down to French player Chloe Paquet.

There were also first round wins for Nidhi Chilumula, who beat teenager Karman Kaur Thandi before losing to top seed Cindy Burger, and wild card Rutuja Bhosale, who upset seventh seed Polina Leykina before losing to Natela Dzalamidze.

It was a poor week for India’s top-ranked singles player Ankita Raina, who bowed in the first round of the singles (where she was seeded third) and the doubles draw. Baluu was the only one of nine Indians to advance to the quarter-finals in the doubles at Navi Mumbai.

Chennai Open Doubles Wild Cards Announced

With the Aircel Chennai Open just a couple of weeks away, the organizers announced the doubles wild cards for the 2015 edition. Five-time champion Mahesh Bhupathi will be back as he attempts a comeback to doubles and he will partner Saketh Myneni while Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan have also been granted a wild card in the doubles draw. Somdev Devvarman and Ramkumar Ramanathan, India’s top two ranked players, have already been wild card entries for the singles draw. Some of the big names who have confirmed their participation in Chennai this year include World No. 4 and Australian Open Champion Stan Wawrinka, World No. 14 Feliciano Lopez, World No. 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, and World No. 22 David Goffin.

Rankings Update

In the rankings, Devvarman moves up one spot to No. 138 while Ramanathan moves up 4 spots to No. 244. In doubles, there is no change with Leander Paes holding static at No. 29 and Rohan Bopanna at No. 30. Among the women, Sania Mirza holds steady at No. 6 in doubles, followed by Ankita Raina at No. 263. Raina is at No. 294 in singles, followed by Prarthana Thombare at No. 491.

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