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Yuki Bhambri through to final round of qualifiying at Australian Open 2017

Yuki Bhambri was in the main draw of the Australian Open in both 2015 and 2016, losing to Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.

Exclusive 12 Jan 2017, 15:41 IST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 18:  Yuki Bhambri of India plays a backhand in his first round match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during day one of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Bhambri, who has struggled with injury, looks to be in strong form this year

India’s Yuki Bhambri is now one win away from the main draw at the 2017 Australian Open, taking a straight sets 6-3, 6-4 win over Pedja Krstin of Serbia in his second round qualifying match,which lasted just over an hour.

Bhambri, who displayed immense potential early on, has been derailed on multiple occasions by a series of injuries, and is currently ranked 534rd on Tour, while his opponent Krstin is 310 spots ahead of him at 224. 

The Indian played a clean, error-free game en route to victory, with a whopping eight aces; Krstin did hold his own in a match that saw Bhambri only break serve twice, but the Indian was immensely successful on his second serve. 

The right-hander, who returned to action in 2017 with a third-round appearance at the ATP 250 Chennai Open, came into the second round on the back of a win over American Stefan Kozlov.

He will now play US-based Ernesto Escobedo, who is ranked 133rd on the ATP World Tour standings. Escobedo has had a good start to 2017, and battled top-50 Briton Kyle Edmund in an extremely tight Round of 32 match in Brisbane to kick off the season. Escobedo and Edmund also met at the American’s last Grand Slam appearance, with 20-year-old Escobedo losing in a close match in the Round of 64. 

Like Bhambri, Escobedo has been active on the Challenger circuit, winning titles at Monterrey and Lexington in 2016. The Indian has been in the main draw of the Australian Open in both 2015 and 2016, losing to Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych respectively.

Yuki Bhambri will play his final round of qualifying on the 14th of January.

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