Day two of the Aircel Chennai Open continued with the completion of round one matches. Fifth seed Benoit Paire, Seventh-seeded Mikhail Youzhny and Eighth-seeded Yen-Hsun Lu all began their campaigns with a win. There was also wins for Renzo Olivo, Aljaz Bedene, Yuki Bhambri and Rogerio Dutra Silva.
Paire kicks off 2017 with a convincing win
Benoit Paire started his 2017 against Konstantin Kravchuk. He immediately put the Russian under pressure in the second game, with two break points but both of them were saved as Paire started brightly. In the sixth game, the Frenchman broke and consolidated the break to take a 5-2 lead. Serving for the set at 5-3, Kravchuk saved a set point but Paire just a couple of points later sealed the opening set 6-3.
In the second set, both players settled and found themselves trading service games. However, Paire raised his level and broke the Russian in the seventh game before holding serve a game later to go 5-3 up. Serving to stay in the match, the 31-year-old was put under some pressure, having to save four match points but eventually held his serve only for the fifth seed to then serve it out for a straight sets win.
Mikhail Youzhny ends Saketh Myneni hopes in home tournament
For the last few years, Youzhny's level of tennis has dropped making him vulnerable in matches. However, he was rarely tested throughout the first set, only being made to save one break point. With the score at 5-4, Youzhny squandered two set points but finish the set off just a couple points later breaking the Indian for a set lead.
With the momentum fully with the Russian, he made it count by breaking the Indian in the second game and then going on to consolidate to take a 3-0 lead. The seventh seed continued to cause all sorts of trouble to Myneni, who was forced to save four break points en route to getting his first hold of the set. From then on in, the 34-year-old Moscow native was unchallenged and served his way into the second round.
Yen-Hsun Lu eases past Albot
Yen-Hsun Lu made easy work of Romanian Radu Albot defeating him 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour of play. Both players traded breaks early on but it was Lu who ran away with the game from then on in breaking his opponent twice more in the set to take a 6-2 lead.
The second set didn't get any better for Albot as he was broken three times and dealt a breadstick in 25 minutes as he crashed out very early on. The man from Taipei dominated on serve winning 83 percent of first serve points and 63 percent on his second serve and converted 0 percent of break points.
Casper Ruud of Norway was playing only his second ATP event at 18-years-old. The Norweigan went toe-to-toe with Olivo in the first set, pushing the Argentinian to a tiebreak but falling short 7-3. Olivo then used his experience and ran away with the set 6-2, to progress to the next round.
In a tight matchup, Aljaz Bedene got the better of Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in straight sets. The Brit saved four break points in the set as he broke twice late on to take the opening set 6-3. Bedene only needed one break in the fourth set as he advanced to the second round having previously been a finalist in 2015.
There was also a home victory for the Indians to celebrate, but it came at the hands of another. Yuki Bhambri defeated last year's quarterfinalist Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1 6-1. In the opening game of the match, Bhambri broke the 22-year-old to 30 before going on a roll to break twice more. Bhambri was only made to save one break point throughout the match which came at the start of the second set. But after that sailed through to round two with two more breaks converted.
Dusan Lajovic and Rogerio Dutra Silva saw the day's only three-set match. It started out with Lajovic breaking in the third game only to be pegged back in the sixth game as scores went level at 3-3 having saved five break points prior. The set was then decided in a tiebreaker, which was won by the Brazilain 7-2. Just like the first set, Lajovic broke Dutra Silva to take a 1-3 lead and despite getting broken back, the Serbian broke for the second time to win the set 4-6. Determined to get the year off to a good start, Lajovic was once again the first to break, doing so in the first game. But just like the previous two sets, he was broken back at 4-4. The set then went to a tiebreaker and once more Dutra Silva got the better of his Serbian opponent winning 7-3.