Cheni, Jan 6: An error–prone Ramkumar Ramathan, one of the two Indian wild cards, flattered to deceive as a higher–ranked Tatsuma Ito of Japan hammered the local challenger 6–3, 6–3 en route to the second round of the $450,000 Cheni Open, here on Tuesday.
Ramathan, ranked 285, proved no match for No.87 Ito whose consistency and a solid all–round game proved to be the clincher. The Indian did serve better with nine aces, but Ito played smarter tennis to emerge deserving winner.
The fact that a screaming and shouting Ramathan had 32 unforced errors to Ito’s 12 accurately reflected the difference between the two in the 81–minute match.
The only occasion Ito looked to be in any sort of bother was in the seven–minute long sixth game of the second set when he was down two breakpoints, but maged to hold and continue with the merciless execution of his opponent.
The 26–year old Ito played some solid tennis in the first set that he all but domited. A break of serve in the fourth game was sufficient for the Japanese with Ramathan being rather inconsistent.
Ramathan, only 20, did send down three aces in the set, but Ito was rock solid in defending while also finding some impossible angles to have the Indian scrambling around the court.
Ito, who achieved a career–high ranking of 60 two seasons ago, started the second set with a break of serve that straightaway put Ramathan under more pressure.
The Indian, however, showed plenty of fight to hold serve in the third game that lasted all of 10 minutes, but wasted two breakpoints in the next to allow Ito go 3–1 up. Ito broke Ramathan again in the ninth to wrap up the match.
On the outside court, Jiri Vesely, the six–foot, six–inch giant Czech, blew out qualifier N Vijay Shankar Prasanth 6–2, 6–1, in just 67 minutes to advance to the second round.
Singles (1st round): Tatsuma Ito (JPN) bt WC–Ramkumar Ramathan (IND) 6–3, 6–3; WC–Elias Ymer (SWE) bt Igor Sijsling (NED) 6–4, 4–6, 6–3; Ricardas Berankis (LIT) bt Q–Luca Vanni (ITA) 6–1, 2–6, 7–5; Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Q–N Vijay Shankar Prashanth (IND) 6–2, 6–1; Q–Aljaz Bedene (SLO) bt Lukas Lacko (SVK) 7–6(0), 6–3; Bor Coric (CRO) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6–2, 6–2.
Doubles (1st round): Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) / Stan Wawrinka (SUI) bt 3–Johan Brunstrom (SWE) / Nicholas Monroe (US) 5–7, 6–3, 10–8; Yen–Hsun Lu (TPE) / Jothan Marray (ENG) bt WC–N Sriram Balaji / Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) 6–3, 4–6, 10–6; Pablo Carreno Busta / Guillermo Garcia–Lopez (ESP) bt 4–Oliver Marach (AUT) / Michael Venus (NZL) 2–6, 7–5, 12–10. IANS