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Bhambri beaten, Agut to face Youzhny in Chennai Open quarter-final

Chennai, Jan 5 (IANS) India's Yuki Bhambri was beaten 3-6, 4-6 by Frenchman Benoit Paire in the second round of the 22nd Chennai Open tennis tournament here on Thursday.

The 474th Bhambri wasn't a match for the 47th ranked, who took an hour and 26 minutes to claim the match at the SDAT Stadium.

Bhambri fell behind from the onset of the contest.

He was broken in his very first service game and was pushed back early, trailing 3-0. Even though he held his serve from there on, he couldn't reduce the deficit and relinquished the first set 3-6.

The second set also progressed in a similar fashion with Bhambri putting up a fight but coming up short in crucial phases of the proceedings.

Paire hit 11 aces, saved seven break points, and won 54 percent (80 of 149) of the total points played in the match.

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut and Russia's Mikhail Youzhny set up a quarter-final showdown by registering comfortable victories here on Thursday.

Agut, World No.14 and second seed, needed just one hour and 15 minutes to quell a spirited challenge from Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-2.

The seventh seeded Youzhny was equally imperious, romping past Argentina's Renzo Olivo 6-1, 7-5.

"He is a former Top 10 player and a tough opponent," Agut said, speaking of their upcoming face-off.

"But I will make him work on the court and he will have to fight it out if he wants to beat me," he added.

Agut didn't show any signs of rustiness despite playing his first match after a two-month break. He dictated the proceedings by serving hard and unleashing strong backhand and forehand winners.

He broke Dutra Silva thrice, in the sixth game in the first set and the fifth and seventh games in the second set.

The 28-year-old Spaniard was pretty happy about his game.

"I felt great on the court, without any match practice," Agut said, looking ahead to the new year.

"It was a little windy. But the conditions are good, the court is good, to play at night," he added.

World No.57 Youzhny and Olivo traded breaks in the first three games before the former took charge of the match.

He broke Olivo in the fifth and seventh games to seal the first set 6-1 under 30 minutes.

The second set went all the way to the wire before Olivo, serving at 5-6 to save the match, double-faulted to hand the match to Youzhny.

--IANS

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