Sharan-Bhambri bows out of Tata Open Maharashtra
By Amanpreet Singh
Pune, Jan 5 (PTI) Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan failed to take chances that came their way in the doubles semi-finals against French pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Gilles Simon to crash out of the Tata Open Maharashtra, here tonight.
The unseeded Indians lost 4-6 6-7 (2), squandering as many as eight break chances in the second set and 11 overall.
Indian challenge has now ended in both singles and doubles event.
Simon, who earlier shocked top seed Marin Cilic in singles semi-final and Herbert will now take on second seeded Dutch pair of Matwe Middelkoop and Robin Haase, who defeated Czech team of Jiri Vesley and Roma Jebavy 6-2 6-4 in the other last four clash.
Simon's serve came under pressure in the second set but Herbert, winner of US Open in 2015 and Wimbledon in 2016 in the doubles, was as good at the net as he was from the baseline.
It was far from an ideal start for the Indians with Sharan dropping serve in the second game. It was Simon's lob from back of the baseline that put the Indians down 15-40 and Sharan double faulted on second break chance.
The French remained solid with their service games and In no time the home team was trailing 0-3.
Bhambri's serve was also put under pressure by the French duo but they finally got on board.
Two service return winners, one each by Sharan and Bhambri on Simon's serve, gave the Indians an opportunity to get the break back and they did.
Bhambri served the eighth game without fuss to make it 4-4.
Sharan though struggled to hold serve again and was broken in the 10th the Indians lost the set.
Indians had a great chance to get early break when Sharan found service return winner off Simon at 30-30 in the third game but they could not convert with Simon finding a forehand winner after a superb rally with Bhambri.
On the deuce point, Bhambri hit a backhand long.
Chances continue to slip of home team's hands. Simon served a double fault at 30-all in the seventh game but the Indians could not utilise the chance. Simon again went down 0 -40 in the 11th game following a flurry of unforced errors but Bhambri and Sharan fluffed all four chances.
Under pressure, Sharan and Bhambri saved a match point on former's serve in the next. However, they were outplayed in the tie-breaker