Ajeet Rai

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Ajeet Rai
Country (sports) New Zealand
ResidenceNew Plymouth
Born (1999-01-18) 18 January 1999 (age 21)
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CoachRakesh Rai
Prize money$21,138
Singles
Career record1–2 (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles1 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 694 (19 November 2018)
Current rankingNo. 925 (16 March 2020)
Doubles
Career record1–2 (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles1 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 821 (10 February 2020)
Current rankingNo. 846 (16 March 2020)
Team competitions
Davis Cup2–1 (Singles 1-1, Doubles 1-0)
Last updated on: 5 May 2020.

Ajeet Rai (born 18 January 1999) is a New Zealand tennis player.

Rai has a career high ATP singles ranking of 694, achieved on 19 November 2018, and a best doubles ranking of 821, reached on 10 February 2020.

Tennis career[edit]

2018[edit]

Rai's first experience of professional tennis was being given a wild card into qualifying for the 2018 ASB Classic in Auckland, where he was well-beaten by Taro Daniel in the first round. He played his first senior ITF tournament in Kampala, Uganda, in May, qualifying for the main draw in singles, where he reached the second round. The following week, at the same venue, he was given a wild card into both doubles and the main draw for singles, and reached the quarter-finals of both.

He reached his first doubles semi-final in China in July, but the highlight of his year to that date would come in September, when he made his Davis Cup debut for New Zealand, partnering Artem Sitak to win their doubles rubber against South Korea, giving Rai a perfect start to his senior international representative career. His first ITF doubles final came in Hua Hin, Thailand, in October, where he and Karunuday Singh lost in a match tie-break to the top seeds, Francis Casey Alcantara and Sonchat Ratiwatana. In singles at the same tournament, he progressed past the quarter-finals for the first time, going all the way to take the title over Manish Sureshkumar in three sets. His season finished with a couple of quarter-final losses in Futures events in Tây Ninh, Vietnam.

2019[edit]

Again given a wild card into qualifying in Auckland, Rai was a game away from defeating Roberto Marcora in the first round before eventually losing in three sets. He and New Zealand junior champion George Stoupe were given a wild card into the doubles, where they lost in the first round to Artem Sitak and Austin Krajicek.

In Uganda on the anniversary of his ITF debut, Rai injured his back severely enough in his second event to need three months' rehabilitation before he returned to the tour in South-East Asia. Well-beaten in his first match, he steadily improved through a series of tournaments to reach another doubles final in Hua Hin in August. By the worst possible luck, his partner, former dual Australian Open junior doubles winner Bradley Mousley, injured his knee in his singles semi-final earlier in the day and had to retire from that match. He played the doubles final, but with very restricted movement the pair were easily beaten by the top-seeded Ratiwatana twins from the host country.

Rai reached two more ITF doubles finals before the end of the year, in Hua Hin two weeks later and in Cancun, Mexico, in late November, finishing runner-up on each occasion.

2020[edit]

With the ITF tour returning to New Zealand for the first time in several years, Rai's first event for 2020 was at the new tournament in Te Anau, where he lost in the quarter-finals of both singles and doubles. At the ASB Classic in Auckland, Rai received a wild card into both the singles qualifying rounds and the doubles, losing his first match in both. The doubles defeat, however, came at the hands of the eventual champions, Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan, and Rai and partner Mackenzie McDonald played extremely well.

Rai's next stop after Auckland was Cancún, where he played three tournaments in as many weeks. The second was the most productive, reaching the quarter-finals in singles and finally securing a doubles title, in his fifth final. Rai then returned home for New Zealand's Davis Cup tie against Venezuela in Auckland, where he lost in singles to Luis David Martínez in three sets. He didn't play again before the international tours were suspended due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

ITF Circuit finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1 title)[edit]

Legend
$25,000 tournaments (0–0)
$15,000 tournaments (1–0)
Finals by surface
Hard (1–0)
Clay (0–0)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Result No.    Date    Level Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. 13 October 2018 $15,000 Hua Hin, Thailand Hard India Manish Sureshkumar 6–3, 4–6, 6–4

Doubles: 5 (1 title, 4 runners-up)[edit]

Legend
$25,000 tournaments (0–0)
$15,000 tournaments (1–4)
Finals by surface
Hard (1–4)
Clay (0–0)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Result No.    Date    Level Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 12 October 2018 $15,000 Hua Hin, Thailand Hard India Karunuday Singh Philippines Francis Casey Alcantara
Thailand Sonchat Ratiwatana
1–6, 6–1, [6–10]
Runner-up 2. 24 August 2019 $15,000 Hua Hin, Thailand Hard Australia Bradley Mousley Thailand Sanchai Ratiwatana
Thailand Sonchat Ratiwatana
2–6, 0–6
Runner-up 3. 7 September 2019 $15,000 Hua Hin, Thailand Hard United Kingdom George Loffhagen Chinese Taipei Ray Ho
Canada Kelsey Stevenson
6–7(4–7), 2–6
Runner-up 4. 23 November 2019 $15,000 Cancun, Mexico Hard Australia Cameron Green Hong Kong Skyler Butts
United States Nicholas Bybel
5–7, 5–7
Winner 1. 1 February 2020 $15,000 Cancun, Mexico Hard Republic of Ireland Simon Carr France Gabriel Petit
Australia Brandon Walkin
6–4, 6–2

Davis Cup (3)[edit]

Group membership
World Group (0)
Group I (1–1)
Group II (1–0)
Group III (0)
Group IV (0)
Rubber outcome No. Rubber Match type (partner if any) Opponent nation Opponent player(s) Score
Decrease2–3; 14-15 September 2018; Gimcheon Sports Town Tennis Courts, Gimcheon, South Korea; Asia/Oceania Group I Relegation playoff, 2nd round playoff; Hard (i) surface
Victory 1. III Doubles (with Artem Sitak) South Korea South Korea Hong Seong-chan / Lee Jea-moon 7–5, 6–3
Increase3–1; 14-15 September 2019; Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia; Asia/Oceania Zone Group II playoffs (First round); Hard surface
Victory 2. I Singles Indonesia Indonesia Muhammad Rifqi Fitriadi 7–6(9–7), 6–3
Increase3–1; 6-7 March 2020; ASB Tennis Centre, Auckland, New Zealand; World Group I Play-offs, 1st round playoff; Hard surface
Defeat 1. II Singles Venezuela Venezuela Luis David Martínez 7–5, 4–6, 2–6

External links[edit]