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Chennai Challenger: Yuki Bhambri advances to quarter-finals

233   //    14 Feb 2018, 21:25 IST

yuki bhambri
Yuki Bhambri

Second seed Yuki Bhambri became the only Indian singles player to advance to the quarter-finals of the $50,000 Chennai Challenger held on the SDAT tennis courts in Nungambakkam on Wednesday. The former junior Australian Open champion needed just 58 minutes to get the better of his compatriot Sidharth Rawat 6-2, 6-3.

It was an absolutely clean match from the World No. 112 Bhambri, who won 85% of his first serve points and converted four out of his six break point opportunities, two in each set. He did not concede any break point and finished with a total of 57 points.

Bhambri will next take on the sixth seeded Yasutaka Uchiyama for a place in the semi-finals. Earlier in the first round on Tuesday, the India No. 1 staved off a late surge from the World No. 271 Bernabe Zapata Miralles to register a 6-1, 7-6(3) win.

This is Bhambri’s third tournament this year. He won three qualifying rounds at the Australian Open before losing to Marcos Baghdatis in the first round.

Qualifier Arjun Kadhe, who ousted Saketh Myneni in the first round, lost 4-6, 2-6 to fourth seed and World No. 238 Mohamed Safwat of Egypt. Qualifier Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam also bowed out with a 2-6, 4-6 loss to the third seed Duckhee Lee of Korea.

Top seed Jordan Thompson hardly broke any sweat and easily booked his berth in the last-eight. The Australian needed 1 hour 18 minutes to prevail over Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul 6-3, 6-2. The World No. 107 earned three breaks of serve and conceded none.

He will next take on Serbia’s Danilo Petrovic. Others progressing to the quarter-finals are Antoine Escoffier and Pedro Martinez.

In doubles, second seeds N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan entered the semi-finals with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Alessandro Bega and Kimmer Coppejans. They next meet the fourth seeds Luca Margaroli and Saketh Myneni for a place in the final.

The latter showed tremendous grit and resilience to notch up a narrow 6-7(4), 6-3, 13-11 win over Tuna Altuna and Mohamed Safwat in the quarter-finals.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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