Local lad Manas Dhamne, 15, gets wildcard for Pune ATP 250, has chance to make history
Manas Dhamne, 15, will make his ATP debut in Pune on Monday after receiving a wildcard for the main draw of the Maharashtra Open, an ATP 250 event. Having turned 15 last week, the boy from Pune has the opportunity to become the youngest match winner in ATP history, with the previous record set by Argentinian Franco Davin in 1985, who was 15 years and one month old at the time. .
The promising teenager is ranked 80th in the world, according to the ITF Juniors Rankings, and became the youngest Indian to win a junior title at the ITF Asian B1 Championships in September.
Dhamne is currently training under renowned Italian coach Riccardo Piatti, who has worked with Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova and Jannik Sinner. The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA), pleased with their home player, on Monday awarded him the accolade to open the game on center court, where he will face American Michael Mmoh. Dhamne will have the opportunity to not only make history but also set up an all-India second-round clash where he could meet Sumit Nagal.
Nagal, the last Indian to play in a Major’s singles main draw, also received a wildcard in the main draw. He takes on the tough task of sixth seed Filip Krajinovic in his opener. Indian number 1 Mukund Sasikumar has also received a wildcard and he will face qualifier Flavio Coboli in the first round.
Ramkumar Ramanathan, whose run to the final in Newport in 2018 is the most notable result in Indian singles tennis recently, was the only surviving member of the Indian contingent to make the qualifier. Yuki Bhambri lost in the second round of qualifying to last year’s semi-finalist Elias Ymer, while Sidharth Rawat, Aditya Vishal Balsekar and Prajnesh Gunneswaran all fell at the first hurdle.
Ramkumar vs Bopanna in the first round of the doubles
Ramanathan faces Pedro Martinez in the first round and will have his hands full the rest of the week. After winning the doubles title in Pune last year alongside Rohan Bopanna, the pair, now partners with others, face off in the first round. Bopanna plays with Botic van de Zandschulp, while Ramanathan partners with Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela.
Bhambri will continue his promising partnership with compatriot Saketh Myneni, as they take on third seed Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul. Purav Raja and Divij Sharan will also be in the doubles main draw, as will Arjun Kadhe, with his regular partner Fernando Romboli.
The biggest international draw at Balewadi Tennis Resort will be world number 17 and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who will open his season in India before heading to the Australian Open. As the top seed, he has a first-round bye and will face either Roberto Carballes Baena or Barnabe Zapata Miralles in the second.
Notable First Round Matches:
Manas Dhamne vs. Michael Mmoh
Sumit Nagal vs (6) Filip Krajinovic
Ramkumar Ramanathan vs Pedro Martinez
Marco Cecchinato vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
Pablo Andujar vs (8) Aslan Karatsev