The first round of the ATP 250 event in Pune is almost completed, with seven encounters taking place on Tuesday. The 6th seed James Duckworth ousted Peter Gojowczyk 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 23 minutes, taking four points more than the German and prevailing in the decisive moments to hit the second round.
The Aussie fended off both break points he faced, taking the first set tie break and earning one break in the second set to cross the finish line first and stay on the title course. Both players found their range right from the start, delivering 11 commanding holds in the first set and with only one break chance up for grabs at 5-5 when Gojowczyk squandered an opportunity to move in front.
A tie break offered six mini-breaks in the first eight points and another one for James at 5-5, closing the set on own serve in the next point to gain a massive boost. The second set saw a couple of crucial games after 2-2, with Duckworth scoring a break in game five and fending off a break chance in the next game to confirm the advantage, sealing the deal with a hold at love in game ten.
Jiri Vesely took down Arjun Kadhe 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 15 minutes, blasting 13 aces and dropping only 11 points in nine service games, never facing a break point and mounting the pressure on the opponent with a wild card.
Unable to match those numbers, Kadhe struggled on both the first and second serve, playing against 12 break chances and getting broken three times to propel the Czech into the last 16. Jiri clinched the opening set with a double break in games one and five, earning another one at the beginning of the second and never looking back in his first ATP main draw encounter of the season.
The only Indian player in the second round is Prajnesh Gunneswaran who toppled Yannick Maden 7-6, 7-6 in an hour and 38 minutes. The home player saved two out of three break chances, earning one break on the other hand and converting it to stay in contention before tie breaks where he produced better tennis to prevail and grab the first ATP victory since August and Winston-Salem.
Gunneswaran opened a 5-3 gap in the opener, failing to close the set on own serve in the next game and finding himself 3-0 down in the tie break, only to take seven of the next eight points and secure the first part of the match.
There were no break chances in the second set and Prajnesh stayed focused in the tie break to win it 7-5 and wrap up the triumph without spending too much time on the court. Egor Gerasimov needed an hour and 12 minutes to dismiss the Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-3, getting broken once and delivering four breaks of serve to control the scoreboard all the time and march into the second round.
His compatriot Ilya Ivashka defeated Evgeny Donskoy 6-3, 6-2 in 69 minutes, repelling three out of four break chances and stealing the Russian's serve four times for the first victory in the ATP tournaments since Montreal last year.