CHENNAI: Japan’s number two Tatsuma Ito moved into the second round of the ATP Chennai Open with a straight-sets win over Indian wildcard Ramkumar Ramanathan on Tuesday.
The 87th-ranked Ito, playing for the first time in the $450,000 season opener in the southern Indian city, won 6-3, 6-3 on the centre court of the Nungambakkam tennis stadium.
“It is good to start the year with a win, but I must play a consistent game to go forward,” said Ito, who next plays fifth seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.
Garcia-Lopez overcame the loss in the tie-breaker of the first set to edge past error-prone qualifier Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3 in two hours.
Sixth seed Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan also breezed through to the next round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over India’s top player Somdev Devvarman.
“One is always a bit worried at the start of a season, but I think I played okay,” the 31-year-old Lu said. “I hope I can do well in the other matches.”
Lu’s next opponent will be Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta, who beat Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-1, 6-3.
Swedish wildcard Elias Ymer moved up by defeating Dutchman Igor Sijsling 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania beat qualifier Luca Vanni of Italy 6-1, 2-6, 7-5.
Another qualifier Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia brushed aside Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 7-6 (7/0), 6-3 to set up a tough second round meeting against second seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
Australian Open champion and world number four Stanislas Wawrinka leads the 32-man field which includes a strong Spanish contingent of 14th-ranked Lopez, number 15 Roberto Bautista-Agut and Garcia-Lopez.
Other leading contenders are Belgium’s David Goffin, and Wawrinka’s second round opponent Borna Coric of Croatia.
The top four seeds — Wawrinka, Lopez, Bautista-Agut and Goffin — received a bye in the first round. The champion will pocket $73,400 and 250 ranking points.