Australian Open 2015 Qualifiers: Yuki Bhambri reaches final round; Somdev and Ramkumar bow out
India’s Yuki Bhambri progressed to the final round of the 2015 Australian Open qualifiers with a straight sets win over Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round. Bhambri defeated his Japanese opponent 7-6(8) 6-3 in an hour and 40 minutes.
After an injury-plagued 2014 which saw his ranking plunge to 314, Bhambri started his 2015 campaign at the Chennai Open. However, he couldn’t qualify for the main draw after bowing out to N. Vijay Sundar Prasanth in the second qualifying round. Despite the poor start to the year, the 2009-Australian Open junior champion began confidently at Melbourne Park by knocking out 15th seed Evgeny Donskoy in the opening round . The scoreline read 4-6 6-1 8-6 in favor of the Indian youngster. Playing matches on consecutive days, the Indian continued his splendid form as he overcame the challenge from his higher ranked opponent in the second round.
Next up, the Delhi lad would face American world number 179 Chase Buchanan for a place in the main draw of the Australian Open. If he manages to win, this would secure Bhambri his first ever berth in the main draw of a singles event at a Grand Slam. The Indian has already made his doubles debut at a grand slam tournament. He reached the third round of last year’s Australian Open partnering Michael Venus of New Zealand.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for India’s other two singles players in the draw. Somdev Devvarman, who was seeded 22nd for the qualifiers lost out to Austin Krajicek of the United States 4-6 6-3 4-6 in the first round. The Indian number 1 hasn’t had a great start to the year as he has lost both his opening matches in Chennai and Melbourne. This would be a major setback in Devvarman’s quest to get back in to the top 100 in the ATP rankings.
The other Indian in the draw, upcoming youngster Ramkumar Ramanathan also lost out in 3 tough sets to German Nils Langer 5-7 6-4 4-6 in the opening round.