Chennai: India’s best hope and wild card entrant Somdev Devvarman will go up against sixth seeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei in the first round of the singles draw of the ATP Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament which commences here Monday.
Last year’s finalist Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France takes on eighth seeded Gilles Lux Muller (Luxembourg) in the first round while the top four seeds, defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Felicano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut and David Goffin received first round byes.
The other Indian wild card entry Ramkumar Ramanathan faces Japanese Tatsuma Ito in the first round as per the draw that was held here Saturday.
In the doubles competition, Leander Paes and South African Raven Klaasen, who were drawn to play Andreas Haider-Maurer and Lukas Lacko in the first round, received top billing ahead of the Dutch-German combination of Robin Haase and Andre Begemann.
The draw set up an interesting second round match-up between the Paes-Klaasen duo and wild card entry Mahesh Bhupathi and Saketh Myneni should the Indian pair win their first round clash against Colombians Alejandro Felia and Alejandro Gonzalez.
The second Indian tandem of Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan is placed in the bottom half of the draw with a first round clash with Yen-Hsun Lu and Jonathan Murray.
Swiss World No.4 Wawrinka starts hot favourite to win back-to-back titles while the presence of Spaniards Lopez (No.14) and Bautisa Agut (15) and Belgium’s Goffin (22) lend depth to the singles field.
Meanwhile, Yuki Bhambri led the Indian challenge in the qualifying competition by entering the second round along with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, scoring straight set victories.
The results (Qualifying, first round): A Kudryavtsev (RUS) bt M Jayaprakash (IND) 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-2; E Donskoy (RUS) bt M Pavic (CRO) 6-4, 6-4; I Marchenko (UKR) bt F Cermak (CZE) 6-3, 6-4; A Bedene (SLO) bt WC-S Nagal (IND) 6-2, 6-0; L Vanni (ITA) bt WC-R Raswant (IND) 6-2, 6-2; P Torebko (GER) bt O Marach (AUT) 6-3, 1-0 (Retd); Y Bhambri (IND) bt S Rawat (IND) 6-1, 6-3; M Venus (NZL) bt C Sood (IND) 6-3, 6-4; T Fabbiano (ITA) bt WC-Manoah (IND) 6-0, 6-0; K Kaza (IND) bt D Udomchoke (THA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; J Nedunchezhiyan (IND) bt L Sood (IND) 6-2, 6-2; E Gerasimov (BLR) bt A Wagh (IND) 6-1, 6-0; S Mukund (IND) bt WC-F Mohammed (IND) 6-3, 6-4; V Vardhan (IND) bt S Prabodh (IND) 6-1, 6-3; N Prashanth (IND) bt N Kaliyanda Poonacha (IND) 6-1, 5-2 (Retd).