Pune, Feb 3 : Comeback man Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe has begun his campaign at the third edition of Tata Open Maharashtra with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win as the finallist of last edition Ivo Karlovic knockout in the first round of the men's singles on the opening day of ATP Tour tournament at Mhalunge Balewadi Staidum here on Monday.
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, said after the match. Meanwhile in the men's doubles opening round match, Italian pair of Paolo Lorenzi and Stefano Travaglia made 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 ATP 250 event, which is organised by Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with Government of Maharashtra, will see legendary Leander Paes in action during his doubles opening round match. Eight-time Grand Slam doubles champion, who has partnered alongside Australian Mathew Ebden, will face challenge from Divij Sharan and New Zealand's Artem Sitak in the round of 16 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday 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. (UNI)