Maharashtra Open: Kadhe and Ram fight | Tennis News
Ramkumar produced a typical display of big serves to bounce back from being knocked down, but Italian world No. 93 Stefano Travaglia racked up a bit more firepower to advance in the third set for a 7-6 (7), 4 -6, Victory 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes at the Mhalunge-Balewadi stadium.
Playing at home and dealing with the expectations that come with it is never easy, but Arjun Kadhe has done an honorable job of stretching former world number 28 Joao Sousa the full distance. Kadhe, a local wildcard, battled the 32-year-old Portuguese, currently ranked 137, for two full sets before losing steam in the third, losing 7-6(5), 6-7(4) 2-6 to the first round.
“It was a tough match. I know he’s a world-class player and he was in the top 50. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Kadhe, 28, said after the match. .
The Pune player made the most of the hot afternoon conditions by serving big and playing big groundstrokes. But once that started to calm down a bit, Sousa started to come into his own in the decider. In the end, as Kadhe himself said, failing to capitalize on the 3-1 lead in the second-set tiebreaker proved costly.
“It was a very tight second set. One or two points, I could have played a bit better,” he said. “Thanks to him, he passed me very well. And that’s it. If I had won those two points, I could have won the game. But I can’t take the negatives out of this (game) .Because I played such an amazing game and almost got it.”
Kadhe said he didn’t feel any pressure ahead of the match just because he was playing at home. “It’s good pressure to have. It shows the huge trust people have in me,” he said.