Ramanathan lost to Italy’s Stefano Travaglia while Khade went down against Portugal’s Joao Sousa.
Top-ranked Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Khade lost their men’s singles first-round matches at the Maharashtra Open 2022 ATP 250 event in Pune on Tuesday.
Ramkumar Ramanathan, ranked world No. 182, went down to the Italian eighth seed Stefano Travaglia 7(7)-6(9), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes.
Arjun Khade, meanwhile, lost his opening round match 7(7)-6(5), 6(4)-7(7), 2-6 against Joao Sousa of Portugal in two hours and 26 minutes.
With the two losses for Indians, Yuki Bhambri remains the sole Indian alive in singles at this year’s Maharashtra Open after his win on Monday.
Ramkumar Ramanathan started the match aggressively but Travaglia equalled Ramanathan’s intensity and extended the set to the tiebreaker.
The Indian squandered a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker to give the world No. 93 Italian an 1-0 lead in the match.
Ramkumar Ramanathan bounced back in the second set and took the match into the third.
The match was poised for a close finish with the Italian leading 3-2 in the final set. Stefano Travaglia, however, broke Ramkumar Ramanathan’s serve for the first time in the match to take a firm grip.
The Italian then took two of the next three games to set up a contest with Yuki Bhambri in the pre-quarterfinals.
Arjun Kadhe, meanwhile, lost his match after a promising start.
The match started on equal footing with Arjun Khade and Joao Sousa tied 4-4 in the first set. However, the Indian saved a breakpoint in the ninth game and clinched the opening set in the tiebreaker.
With both players holding all their serves in the second set, the scoreboard followed a similar pattern. Sousa, however, won the second tiebreaker to take the match into the decider.
Sousa broke Khade’s serve early in the third set and carried the momentum to progress to the round of 16.
On Wednesday, Ramkumar Ramanathan will be seen alongside Rohan Bopanna for his doubles match against the American pair of Jamie Cerretani and Nicolas Monroe.
The Indian pair, seeded second at the tournament, began the 2022 season with a title win in Adelaide and will be in contention for their second title of the year.
Yuki Bhambri, meanwhile, will be teaming up with Divij Sharan for their match against Austria’s Denis Novak and Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Arjun Khade and Purav Raja will be up against fellow Indian pair Vishnu Vardhan and Sriram Balaji.
Vardhan and Balaji entered the main draw on Tuesday as a replacement for Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis and Radu Albot of Moldova. Berankis was struggling with his elbow after his singles match on Monday and the pair had to pull out a day before their match.
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