Local qualifier Kittipong Wichiramanowong upset higher-ranked New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in a 6-4, 6-4 win in the second round of the qualifying competition today.
His win keeps alive his hopes of playing in the Thailand Open main draw for the fourth time. Kittipong, widely known among local fans as “Pong”, has yet to go beyond the first round here. His closest attempt was in 2009, where he narrowly lost to big-serving American John Isner in three sets with a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-7(5).
Pong is the only Thai player left in the qualifying draw. His next opponent is Japan’s Hiroki Moriya, who overcame N Vijay Sundar Prashanth of India in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
In other qualifying matches, German Mischa Zverev stormed past another Thai player Pruchya Isarow in a near whitewash 6-1, 6-0. Zverev was a quarter-finalist here in 2006, having beaten Juan Carlos Ferrero and Rainer Schuettler before losing to Marat Safin. He next plays Tsung-Hua Yang of Taiwan, in an attempt to make his fifth main draw appearance in Bangkok.
Yasutaka Uchiyama bested local Nutthhanon Kadchapanan 6-4,6-3 to set up an all Japanese clash against Yuichi Sugita with a place in the main draw at stake.
Matches on Monday start at noon, with the first match on the Centre Court pitting South Africa’s Kevin Anderson against Kazakhstan’s Evgeny Korolev, followed by Japan’s Hiroki Moriya versus Kittipong Wachiramanowong.
The last match of the day session on the Center Court will see local twins Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana take on Spanish Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Australian Marinko Matosevic in first round doubles action.
The evening session begins at 7pm, with a first-round singles match between Germany’s Philipp Petzschner and local wildcard receipient Peerakiat Siriluethaiwattana.
Following that match, fourth seeds Eric Butorac of USA and Paul Hanley will face Czech-Slovak duo Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak in their doubles opener.
The other two matches featuring qualifiers will be played on Court 1: Mischa Zverev vs. Tsung-Hua Yang and Yuichi Sugita vs. Yasutaka Uchiyama