Tennis: Daniel sets up clash with Cilic at Singapore Tennis Open

Tennis: Daniel sets up clash with Cilic at Singapore Tennis Open

Japan's Taro Daniel returns the ball to Tommy Paul of the US during the US Open on August 30,
Japan's Taro Daniel returns the ball to Tommy Paul of the United States during the US Open in New York on Aug 30, 2017. (File photo: AFP/Don Emmert)

SINGAPORE: Japan's Taro Daniel defeated India's Ramkumar Ramanathan on Monday (Feb 22) in a three-set fight to set up a second-round clash with Croatia's Marin Cilic at the Singapore Tennis Open.

Daniel won the first set 6-3, but Ramanathan came back to take the second 6-7, prevailing in the tie-breaker.

But the Japanese player won the third set 6-3, sealing his victory with a solid forehand volley.

Singapore Tennis Open Feb 22
Workers wearing face shields and masks clean the court during the Singapore Tennis Open tournament on Feb 22, 2021. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

"In tennis, you'll always have a chance to have that big break - I think I'm playing well enough to give myself that chance," Daniel said.

"There's going to be more rallies, so I definitely have to be on top of my service game, pressuring (Cilic) with my serve and moving him around because that's probably going to (be) his weakness, if there is one."

READ: No spectators allowed at Singapore Tennis Open; daily COVID-19 tests for travelling players

Third seed Cilic has set his sights on rediscovering the kind of form which led him to 19 ATP singles titles and the US Open in 2014.

"When you lose a few matches, you start to doubt yourself. But looking ahead at this year, I feel I can definitely make my comeback," said the world number 43.

In the day's other singles matches, American Maxime Cressy enjoyed a straight-sets 7-6, 6-2 victory over Taiwan's Jason Jung while Bulgarian wildcard Adrian Andreev took down South Africa's Lloyd Harris 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Australia's Alexei Popyrin won his first encounter with American qualifier Christopher Eubanks 7-6(7-5), 7-6(7-5).

Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka beat Michael Mmoh 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in an hour and 58 minutes.

Source: AFP/kg

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