India No. 1 Yuki Bhambri’s strong run at the BNP Paribas Open came to an end after a gritty show against the 18th seeded Sam Querrey in the third round of the season’s first ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, California on Tuesday. The World No. 110 squandered a one-set lead to go down fighting 7-6(4), 4-6, 4-6 to the 21st ranked American in 2 hours 22 minutes.
Querrey was at his flawless best while serving and produced 17 aces. Yuki, on his part, served four aces against six double faults. The former junior Australian Open champion won 59% of his total service points while his 30-year-old opponent was way better, clinching 67% of his service points.
Querrey was better even on returns, bagging 41% of the points to Yuki’s meagre 33%.
The two exchanged a pair of breaks to push the engrossing first set into a tie-break. Bhambri had the upper hand there and had no problem in bagging the opening set. However, Querrey came storming back after that and did not concede any break point in the next two sets, dashing all hopes of the 25-year-old Indian.
Querrey next takes on the 28th seeded Feliciano Lopez for a place in the quarter-finals.
Earlier on Sunday, Bhambri caused a big upset in the second round by ousting the in-form ninth seed and World No. 12 Lucas Pouille. The Frenchman came to this event after reaching the finals in three of his last four tournaments, which saw him win the title in Montpellier.
Bhambri’s 6-4, 6-4 demolition of Pouille was the biggest win of his career.
He had qualified for this tournament by winning two rounds with one of those victories coming over the India No. 2 Ramkumar Ramanathan.
Having endured a painful 2016 due to an elbow injury, the Indian has been climbing his way back to the top tier of the sport for the past one year. He started the 2018 season by qualifying for the Australian Open and then reached the final at the Chennai Challenger.Published 14 Mar 2018, 13:39 IST