Reigning men’s singles champion Manish Sureshkumar of Tamil Nadu began his title defence at the Fenesta Open National Tennis Championship with a win over Uttar Pradesh’s Maan Kesharwani here on Monday.
The No. 4 seed overcame an early challenge from Kesharwani to win 6-4 6-4 and advance to the second round at the DLTA Complex.
Kesharwani’s shots from the baseline looked to disrupt the defending champion’s rhythm but Sureshkumar was soon back in his groove, playing accurate forehands and backhands to win the match.
The No. 2 seed Karan Singh of Haryana also began the tournament with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 win over Jagmeet Singh.
No. 7 seed Ishaque Eqbal of West Bengal defeated Gujarat’s Dhruv Hirpara 6-2 3-6 6-1 to reach the second round. In women’s singles, No.4 seed from Maharashtra, Vaishnavi Adkar made a positive start, defeating Sonal Patil 6-3 6-2.
No. 5 seed Sharmada Balu also made a winning return to the Fenesta Open, defeating Telangana’s Paavanii Paathak 6-2 4-6 6-1 to advance.
Sureshkumar said after the match that he was looking to defend his title this year.
“Last year was a good experience as I went on to win the tournament and I would like to continue the same. I played my first match today and I was not feeling very sharp but as I play more matches here I will get into the groove, and hopefully, I will be able to repeat what I did last season,” said Sureshkumar.
The Under-18 boys’ category saw top seed Chandan Shivaraj of Karnataka defeat Tamil Nadu’s Kavin Karthik KS 6-1 6-3, while Aditi Rawat of Haryana beat Swasti Singh 6-0 7-5 in Under-18 girl’s section to move into the second round.
The Fenesta Open offers a prize pool of over Rs 21.5 lakh along with kit allowance for the junior categories.
Over the years, the tournament has witnessed the participation of players such as Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Sania Mirza and Rutuja Bhosale.