Bhambri, Thompson in Chennai Open final; Balaji-Vardhan duo
Chennai, Feb 16 (PTI): India's Yuki Bhambri, seeded two, today set up a final clash with No.1 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia in the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis tournament.
Bhambri got the better of Korea's Duckhee Lee, the third seed, 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 25 minutes while Thompson beat unseeded Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-1, 7-6.
Meanwhile, the second-seeded India duo of N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan edged out Cem Ilkel and Danilo Petrovic, the Turkish-Serbian duo 7-6, 5-7, 10-5 in a thrilling final to capture the doubles crown.
In the Bhambri-Lee match, the first set saw an even contest as the latter kept pace with the home favourite.
Games went with serve till 5-all before the Indian number one, ranked 112 in the world broke through in the 11th with a superb forehand winner.
He duly served out the set.
Bhambri played well within himself from the baseline and made the occasional foray to the net to finish off points.
The second set was one-way traffic as the Indian stepped up his game and hit winners from both flanks.
Two service breaks highlighted Lee's struggles in the set as the Bhambri pulled away to victory.
The Indian ace didn't face a single break point through the course of the match, underlining his dominance from the service line.
With the win, Bhambri improved his head-to-head against Lee to 2-0 and enhanced his chances of returning to the top 100.
In the other semifinal, Thompson started the match with two aces in the first game and dominated the set, taking it 6-1 in quick time.
The Spanish player, who upset fourth-seeded Egyptian Mohammed Safwat in the quarterfinals, fought back in the second and held his own against the Aussie.
In the tie-breaker, Thompson jumped to a 3-0 lead and looked set to close it out quickly before Martinez hit back with three points.
The No.1 seed kept his composure to take the tie-breaker to progress to the final.
In the doubles final, the Indian combination of Sriram Balaji and Vardhan held their nerve in a tight match.
"Winning is winning. The whole week we had lots of ups and downs. We didn't play our best, but still we won," Sriram Balaji said after the triumph.
Results: Singles (Semifinals): Jordan Thompson (Australia-X1) bt Pedro Martinez (Spain) 6-1, 7-6; Yuki Bhambri (India-X2) bt Duckhee Lee (Korea) 7-5, 6-2.
Doubles (final): N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan bt Cem Ilkel (Turkey) and Danilo Petrovic (Serbia) 7-6, 5-7, 10-5