Wimbledon 2021: Prajnesh, Ramkumar and Ankita begin their quest for Main Draw spots today
By Saurabh Singh | AITA
After the 2020 edition of the Wimbledon Championship was cancelled for the first time since World War II due to coronavirus pandemic, the season’s third Grand Slam marked its return, this week, to the International tennis calendar after a year’s gap.
Three Indian players – Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina, who are vying for the coveted main draw spots in singles, will begin their campaigns today at the All England Club in England.
Ranked 147th in the world, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, who is also the new India number one after piping Sumit Nagal by one spot in ATP Single rankings, will be taking on teenaged local boy Arthur Fery.
Fery is yet to make a Main Draw appearance in a Grand Slam whilst the 31-year-old Indian lad, Gunneswaran, has had a run of competing in five consecutive Grand Slams starting from 2019 Australian Open through 2020 Australian Open.
Gunneswaran is seeded 29th in the qualifiers at this year’s Wimbledon.
Joining him in the Gentlemen’s Qualifying Singles is Ramkumar Ramanathan (212th on the ATP Singles rankings).
13th seeded Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia with a singles ranking of 126, will be the first hurdle for India’s Ramanathan.
Ramanathan is looking to earn his maiden Main Draw appearance at the Grand Slam stage while Kovalik had made it to the Wimbledon first round in 2019 edition.
Among the Ladies, Ankita Raina will be representing the tri-colour and faces a tough opponent in Varvara Lepchenko of USA.
The 35-year-old American has vast experience of playing numerous Grand Slams and has a career high rank of 19 on the WTA Singles rankings.
Ranked 182nd in the world currently, Raina is keen on extending her good run in 2021 and is eager to make her Main Draw debut in singles too, after having debuted at this year’s Australian Open and Roland Garros in doubles.
For match schedule of Indian Players – Click here
Photos – Wimbledon