Tough first round awaits Soderling in Chennai Open

Updated: 04 January 2010 13:51 IST

Billed as title favourite, French Open finalist Robin Soderling would have some laborious tasks in hand as a tough field awaits the Swede in $400,000 ATP Chenna

Tough first round awaits Soderling in Chennai Open

Chennai:

Billed as title favourite, French Open finalist Robin Soderling would have some laborious tasks in hand as a tough field awaits the Swede in $400,000 ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament commencing here on Monday.

Top seed Soderling, who comes eighth in ATP ranking, will certainly take heart from his recent victory over world number one Roger Federer when he starts campaign in the event by taking on Robby Ginepri of the United States.

The 25-year-old stunned Federer in their 13th meeting in an exhibition tournament at Abu Dhabi, before losing the final to Rafael Nadal on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Indians, including country's numero uno singles player Somdev Devvarman will also have to overcome some stiff competition in what is considered as on of the toughest first round draw in Chennai Open's history.

Somdev, ranked 127, plays Rainer Schuettler of Germany, while compatriot Rohan Boppana have to come out with almost flawless tennis when he locks horn with third seed Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland, who is currently world ranked 21.

The Indian wild card, however, was looking to capitalise on the home support before the tough encounter.

"It will surely be a tough match and I am counting on the home support," Bopanna said.

Somdev, who almost won the title last year before losing to Croatian Marin Cilic in final.

Somdev, 24, along with Bopanna was instrumental in bringing India back to the Davis Cup World Group last year and the duo will try to re-create the magic here once again.

Vijay Amritraj praised Somdev but at the same time reminded that his campaign-opener would not be an easy one.

"If Sheuttler brings his hundred per cent on court, it will turn out to be a good match," Amritraj said.

The bottom draw looks to be much stronger with defending champion, second seed Cilic and fourth seed Serb Janko Tipsarevic are tipped to have a run up to the semifinal.

Cilic, who beat world number two Andy Murray in US Open pre-quarterfinal last year, is pitted against Russian Igor Kunistyn in first round, while Tipsarevic plays two time champion Carlos Moya of Spain -- a wild card entrant.

In doubles main draw, starting on Monday, Indian interest revolves around the pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Bopanna, besides wild cards Somdev-Sanam Singh and Yuki Bhambri-Moya.

Third seed Bhupathi-Bopanna, drawn in the bottom half, cross swords with American pair of James Cerretani and Travis Rettenmaier, while Somdev and Sanam from the top half take on Rik de Voest (South Africa) and Scott Lipsky (USA).

Bhambri and Moya fight Robby Ginepri (USA) and Dudi Sela (Israel).

Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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