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Miami Open: Yuki Bhambri qualifies for main draw

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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689   //    21 Mar 2018, 12:02 IST

BNP Paribas Open - Day 9
Yuki Bhambri

The India No. 1 tennis ace Yuki Bhambri continues his strong start to the 2018 season by qualifying for the main draw at the Miami Open on Tuesday. The World No. 107 needed 1 hour 28 minutes to prevail over the 133rd ranked Elias Ymer, 7-5, 6-2.

The ninth seeded Indian won 70% of his first serves and 65% of his total service points. In returns, he grabbed 42% of the points on offer.

Bhambri's strong service is also reflected in the fact that he managed to save all three of the break points that he faced. He was able to penetrate on his 17th seeded Swedish opponent’s serve quite comfortably, converting three out of the four break points that he earned.

The former junior Australian Open champion made the service breakthrough in a long 11th game of the tight opener. The second set was a cakewalk for him as he raced ahead to build a huge lead of 5-1 before Ymer could add another game.

The Swede saved a couple of match points, showing some stiff resistance towards the very end but it was not enough to subdue the determined Indian.

In the first round, Bhambri will take on lucky loser and World No. 140 Mirza Basic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The two met at the 2016 Sofia Open where Basic emerged a 6-3, 7-6(4) winner.

Impressive 2018 form for Bhambri continues

Bhambri has now qualified for two ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in a row. At Indian Wells earlier this month, he recorded the biggest victory of his career when he upset the World No. 12 Lucas Pouille before his run was halted by Sam Querrey in a competitive three-setter in the third round.

After struggling with an elbow injury in 2016, the former World No. 88 Delhi player has been steadily climbing his way back to the top tier of the sport. He began 2018 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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