Race for India’s top tennis singles player heats up


New Delhi : India’s Prakash Amritraj and Somdev Dev Varman are fighting a close race to occupy the position of country’s top singles player in Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) rankings.

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Though Somdev is still ahead of Prakash by six places at 204, he dropped three rungs in the current ranking released Monday.

Prakash, riding on the back of his pre-quarterfinal appearance at ATP Challenger at Champaign, Illinois, US, jumped four places to 210, closing the gap between the two.

Last week Somdev snatched the top place from Prakash as he cleared 40 heads to achieve his career best ranking of 201 after making it to the final of Nashville Challenger where he as a qualifier beat a couple of top-100 players.

But this week Somdev lost in the first round of the qualifying event at Champaign to shed three places.

Rohan Bopanna holds the third position at 314 after jumping six places.

In doubles, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi held on to six and 10th places respectively. Both failed to make it to the semifinals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai after losing their league matches. Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy lost all three league matches while Bhupathi and Mark Knowels of Bahamas could win only one.

In women’s ranking, Sania Mirza continued to hang at the brink of getting out of top-100 at 99.