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Pune, February 3, 2020
India No. 2 Sumit Nagal put up a strong fight against Serbian ace Viktor Troicki before going down in a singles opening round match at the third edition of Tata Open Maharashtra at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium here today.
Nagal, who took a set against legendary Roger Federer during his debut Grand Slam match at 2019 US Open, showed immense resistance before going down 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 against the former World No. 12.
Meanwhile, the comeback man, Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, begun his campaign with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win over the last year's finalist Ivo Karlovic. Fifth-seed Yuichi Sugita also made his way into the second round with a convincing 6-3, 6-0 win over Italian ace Thomas Fabbiano.
The 28-year-old Stebe, who has been plagued with numerous injuries that forced him to skip almost all the action between September 2013 and March 2016, dominated the former World No. 14 in the first set. Karlovic, however, tried to gain some momentum with two points before the German wrapped up the set as well as the match. "My number one priority would be to stay healthy and keep myself away from any major injury. I started off bit slow. I knew I want to focus on my game. That kept me going," Stebe, who is making his first appearance here, said after the match.
Meanwhile, in the doubles opening round match, Italian pair of Paolo Lorenzi and Stefano Travaglia made a winning start as they thrashed Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis and Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets.
The second day of the India's premier ATP 250 event, which is organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with Government of Maharashtra, will see veteran Leander Paes in action during his doubles opening round match.
The eight-time Grand Slam doubles champion, who has partnered Australian Mathew Ebden, will face challenge from Divij Sharan and New Zealand's Artem Sitak. The singles opening round will see two Indians, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Arjun Kadhe, in action. While, the India No. 1 Prajnesh will take on Germany's Yannick Maden, local boy Kadhe will face Czech player Jiri Vesely.
(Singles) Viktor Troicki bt Sumit Nagal 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1; Cedrik-Marcel Stebe bt Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4; Yuichi Sugita bt Thomas Fabbiano 6-3, 6-0
(Doubles) Paolo Lorenzi-Stefano Travaglia bt Ricardas Berankis-Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 6-4.