New Delhi:Wildcard Ashutosh Singh stunned eighth seed Alexandre Kudryavtsev of Russia in a gruelling three-setter to keep Indian hopes alive after Prakash Amritraj and Harsh Mankad bowed out with straight-set losses in the ATP Challenger Series' SAIL Open in New Delhi on Tuesday.
On a day when the more fancied Amritraj cut a sorry figure, going down 3-6 3-6 to seventh seed American Brendon Evans, Ashutosh turned out to be an unlikely Indian star beating his ill-tempered rival 6-3 6-7 (6) 7-6 (6).
However, another wildcard Mankad could not emulate Ashutosh's success as he bowed out with a 6-7 (5) 4-6 loss to Frenchman Thomas Oger.
Ashutosh, the reigning national champion, came through after a few anxious moments, including missing a couple of match points in the second set besides surviving two match points in the decider, in the close to three-hour battle.
In a battle of nerves, Ashutosh managed to get on his opponent's nerves by simply refusing to throw in the towel in the see-saw battle.
The first set proved to be a cakewalk for the Indian as he broke his rival in the sixth game before closing it 6-3.
The second set went on serve and as both of them waited for the other to blink, the frustration began to show in the Russian's game.