Country’s top singles players Somdev Devvarman and Saketh Myneni registered smooth wins to move to the second round of the ATP Chennai Open qualifying event.
Sixth seed Somdev defeated N Vijay Sundar Prashanth with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 scoreline, avenging his Pune Challenger defeat against local lad while fifth seed Myneni saw off the challenge of Sanam Singh 6-2 6-4.
Also moving to the next round was N Sriram Balaji, who knocked out seventh seed Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 6-2 6-4.
However, campaigns of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran were over in the first round itself. Nedunchezhiyan, southpaw from Chennai, lost to second seed Briton James Ward 4-6 3-6 and Prajnesh lost tamely 3-6 0-6 to eight seed Jozef Kovalik.
Meanwhile, Ramkumar Ramananthan, ranked 262, the wild card Indian entrant to the main draw was pitted against Spaniard Daniel Gimeno Traver, ranked 98.
“Each match at this level would be tough but I will put in my best efforts before my local fans who would be rooting for me,” Ramkumar said.
“I have played a lot of Challenger events last year and I am geared up for Chennai Open. I hope to finish around 120 rankings at the end of this season and if I get into top 100, it would be a bonus,” he said.
Top seed and double defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka got a bye in the first round along with second seed Kevin Anderson.
Fifth seeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez (27) was pitted against Taro Daniel (Japan-93), while sixth seed Gilles Lux Muller (Luxemburg 38) take on wild card Karen Kachanov (152) Russia. Vasek Pospisil (Canada-39), seeded seventh would go up against Aljaz Bedene of England.