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Miami Open 2018: Yuki Bhambri goes down to Jack Sock in second round

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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437   //    25 Mar 2018, 16:41 IST

BNP Paribas Open - Day 9
Yuki Bhambri

The India No. 1 tennis ace Yuki Bhambri’s good run at the Miami Open 2018 came to an end on Saturday as he went down to the eighth seed and World No. 11 Jack Sock in the second round. The American staved off a late challenge from the Indian to grab a 6-3, 7-6(3) win.

Sock next takes on the 29th seeded Borna Coric, who was close to beating Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters last week.

With 21 winners, Bhambri had three more than his opponent on the winners count. But the good work was undone by his 24 unforced errors while Sock had two less.

Yuki’s shabby percentage on second serve points (46%) also let him down. In contrast, the Paris Masters champion won 68% of his second serve points, making life difficult for the Indian.

The American broke Yuki twice to secure a comfortable opener. And with an early break in the second set, he looked all set for victory as the former junior Australian Open champion struggled to counter Sock’s kick serves and heavy topspin forehands.

However, the Delhi player got a second wind when the eighth seed served for the match twice at 5-4 and then at 6-5, forcing a tie-break. He failed to continue his high level of play thereafter and Sock closed out the win in 1 hour 33 minutes.

It thus brought curtains on the 107th ranked Bhambri’s confidence-boosting show in the North American hardcourt swing. For the first time in his career, he qualified for back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 tournaments and had main draw wins.

His biggest win came at the Indian Wells second round, where he sent the 12th ranked Lucas Pouille packing.

The former World No. 88 lost a major chunk of the season in 2016 due to an elbow injury and his ranking had plummeted to the 500s. Since then, he has been steadily clawing his way back to the top tier.

He started the 2018 season by qualifying for the Australian Open and then finished as the runner-up at the Chennai Challenger.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
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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