Delhi Challenger: Bhupathi-Bhambri win doubles title; Myneni in singles final
This is Mahesh Bhupathi's first ATP title of any kind since he won in Dubai with Michael Llodra in 2013.
Saturday turned out to be a great day for India at the $50, 000 Delhi Challenger held at the R K Khanna Tennis Stadium as Mahesh Bhupathi and Yuki Bhambri combined to take the doubles title while Saketh Myneni booked his place in the singles final.
The unseeded pair of Bhupathi and Bhambri edged past the fourth seeds and Asian Games silver medallists Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh, 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 in the summit clash. This is the 12-time Grand Slam champion’s first title since he won in Dubai with Michael Llodra in 2013.
Superb display from Saketh Myneni in singles
The 28-year-old Myneni had a favourable result in the singles semi-final as he outplayed the second-seeded Belgian Kimmer Coppejans, 6-3, 6-2.
The Belgian is placed at 125th in the ATP World Rankings which is 41 places higher than the Indian. But it was the lower-ranked Myneni who looked more comfortable of the two as the match progressed. It was a great display of serve and variation from the Indian who never gave Coppejans any chance to settle in the match.
Facing three break points in the third game was the only blemish in his spectacular performance. But the fourth seed was quick to erase them and put the pressure back on the Belgian, much to the delight of the local crowd.
“I began well and when I upped the pace, he was rattled. Most of the Europeans play from behind the baseline and that’s why I also used a few drop shots. I needed to draw him forward. It’s just variation in the game and not something which I practice a lot,” Myneni said after his victory.
On Sunday, he will look to win his second career ATP Challenger title in singles as he takes on the third seed Stephane Robert. The Frenchman toppled the unseeded Italian Flavio Cipolla, 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final.