India's Sasikumar Mukund and Saket Myneni entered the men's singles second round of the Bengaluru Open AT Challenger with contrasting wins over their respective rivals here on Monday.
In a re-match of the 2018 edition, Mukund beat Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 2-6 6-3 6-4 to move into the second round of the USD 162,500 Challenger event at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA).
Also advancing to the second round was Myneni, runner-up at the last edition of the Bengaluru Open, who scored a clinical 6-3 6-3 win over his Russian rival Aslan Karatsev.
Blaz, who is slightly ranked higher than Mukund at 275, began in the right earnest and looked set for an easy victory as he raced to a 4-0 lead with breaks in the first and third games.
However, the Indian showed semblance of a comeback winning the next two games, but it lasted just a while as he committed too many unforced errors to lose the first set.
"I don't know what was going on in my mind. I was trying too many things," said Mukund.
In the second set, both the players began breaking each other and repeated the pattern two games later to be tied at 3-3.
The 23-year-old Indian then achieved the crucial break in the seventh game to surge ahead as Blaz failed to control his game and lost the set.
In the decider, Mukund started off with a break in the very first game and held the advantage until the sixth game, which he lost but still remained on track.
The Indian managed to break once again in the ninth game and then served out for the match.
"I don't think I deserved to win with the kind of game I played. He (Blaz) was playing really well and I think he too was in a similar spot like me in the second and third set," he said.
In a contrasting encounter, Myneni, who is still under the 200 ranking, needed just one break in the sixth game to grab the opening set 6-3.
The second set saw both the players holding their serves until the sixth game as Myneni won the rest of the games with breaks in the seventh and ninth games to emerge victorious.
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