Pune, Feb 4: Legendary Leander Paes marked his arrival at the third edition of Tata Open Maharashtra with a thumping 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) win over compatriot Divij Sharan in the doubles opening round match at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium, here on Tuesday.
Playing alongside Australian partner Matthew Ebden, eight-time doubles Grand Slam Champion Paes, who is playing his last tournament in India, showed his class during his clinical victory against defending champion and second-seed Sharan, who was playing alongside New Zealand’s Artem Sitak.
Earlier, India No 1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran stamped his authority at home with a sensational straight sets victory against Yannick Maden in the singles opening round match.
The Indian star Gunneswaran held his nerves throughout the match as both the sets went into tie-breakers before the Indian wrapped up the hard-fought contest 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5) to begin his campaign on a winning note.
In the other singles opening round match, local boy Arjun Kadhe suffered a straight-set 6-2, 6-4 defeat at the hands of Jiri Vesley.
Playing in front of the home crowd, Kadhe, who received wild card entry into the main draw, tried to make a comeback into the match with some good fight in the second set but it was too late as the 26-year-old Czech player wrapped up the match convincingly. (UNI)