The country’s No.1 tennis player, Yuki Bhambri missed a championship point against top seed Jordan Thompson of Australia in the $50,000 Chennai Open ATP Challenger tournament on Saturday.
The Aussie recorded a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 victory over the 112th ranked Yuki, who bounced back from 0-3 in decider when he was two breaks down, but missed the matchpoint on Thompson’s serve in the tenth game.
While Yuki had to be content with $4,240 and 48 ATP points, the Aussie collected $7,200 and 80 points for his better fare.
Despite the loss in the final, the 25-year-old Yuki was expected to get back into the top-100 in the latest rankings, but climbed to 101.
Yuki had reached a career-best rank of 88 in November 2015 before repeated injuries stopped from staying in the elite league.
The enhanced rank should help Yuki compete regularly in the bigger tournaments in the run up to the Grand Slams.
Yuki Bhambri intensified his attack at the right time to tame third seed Lee Duckhee 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals of the $50,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Chennai on Friday.
The second seeded Yuki will challenge the top seed Jordan Thompson of Australia for the title.
In the doubles final, Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan handled the fluctuations in the match wisely to pull through for a 7-6(5), 5-7, 10-5 victory over Cem Ilkel of Turkey and Danilo Petrovic of Serbia.
It was the first title of the season for Vishnu Vardhan and Sriram Balaji, who had won three Challenger and six Futures titles as a pair last year.
The title was worth $3100 and 80 ATP points. The runners-up collected 48 points and $1800.
Singles (semifinals): Jordan Thompson (Aus) bt Pedro Martinez (Esp) 6-1, 7-6(5); Yuki Bhambri bt Lee Duckhee (Kor) 7-5, 6-2.
Doubles (final): Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Cem Ilkel (Tur) & Danilo Petrovic (Srb) 7-6(5), 5-7, 10-5.
Second seed Yuki Bhambri overcame a tough start to beat Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Chennai on Thursday.
In the semifinals, Yuki will play third seed Lee Duckhee of Korea. The other semifinal will be between top seed Jordan Thompson of Australia and Pedro Martinez of Spain.
There was more cheer for the Indian camp as second seeds, Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan made the doubles final.
The Indian pair will play Cem Ilkel and Danilo Petrovic who upset the top seeds, the Ratiwatana twins, Sanchai and Sonchat of Thailand, 10-8 in the super tie-break.
Singles (quarterfinals): Jordan Thompson (Aus) bt Danilo Petrovic (Srb) 6-4, 3-0 (retired); Pedro Martinez (Esp) bt Mohamed Safwat (Egy) 7-5, 6-2; Lee Duckhee (Kor) bt Antoine Escoffier (Fra) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Yuki Bhambri bt Yasutaka Uchiyama (Jpn) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.
Pre-quarterfinals: Jordan Thompson bt Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (Tha) 6-3, 6-2; Danilo Petrovic bt Enrique Lopez Perez (Esp) 6-4 (retired); Mohamed Safwat bt Arjun Kadhe 6-4, 6-2; Pedro Martinez bt Lucas Catarina (Mon) 7-6(2), 6-0; Antoine Escoffier bt Gerard Granollers (Esp) 7-6(2), 6-2; Lee Duckhee bt Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam 6-2, 6-4; Yasutaka Uchiyama bt Cem Ilkel (Tur) 6-4, 7-5; Yuki Bhambri bt Sidharth Rawat 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles (semifinals): Cem Ilkel (Tur) & Danilo Petrovic (Srb) bt Sanchai Ratiwatana & Sonchat Ratiwatana (Tha) 7-6(5), 2-6, 10-8; Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Luca Margaroli (Sui) & Saketh Myneni 6-3, 7-5.
Quarterfinals: Sanchai Ratiwatana & Sonchat Ratiwatana bt Kunal Anand & Anvit Bendre 6-0, 6-2; Cem Ilkel & Danilo Petrovic bt Prajnesh Gunneswaran & Vijay Sundar Prashanth 6-4, 2-6, 10-4; Luca Margaroli & Saketh Myneni bt Tuna Al Tuna (Tur) & Mohamed Safwat (Egy) 6-7(4), 6-3, 13-11; Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt Alessandro Bega & Kimmer Coppejans 7-5, 6-3.
India to play China in Tianjin for a berth in World Group play-off in Davis Cup
India will take on China on outdoor hard courts at the Tianjin Tennis Centre in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania second round tie on April 6 and 7.
While the top seeded India had a bye in the first round, China beat New Zealand 3-1 in Tianjin on February 2 and 3.
China won the singles matches through Ze Zhang and Yibing Wu, the young lad who had won the US Open singles and doubles junior titles last year, apart from the doubles through Ze Zhang and Mao-Xin Gong.
The winner of the second round will make it to the World Group play-off.
From this year, the Davis Cup matches have been reduced to best of three sets, from being best of five sets, spread over three days.
The surface will be plexi-pave, and the tie will use Head balls. The matches are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the two days.
India had made it to the World Group play-off over the last few years and had given a good account of itself against Canada. India had lost 2-3, despite not winning the doubles, in September last year, as Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan won a match each.
India has a 3-0 win-loss record against China. India beat China 5-0 when the two teams met the last time at the RK Khanna Stadium in Delhi in 2005.
When India played China in 2001 at the Langfan City, Hebei, it had pulled off a 3-2 victory. India had beaten China 5-0 when the two teams met the first time in Davis Cup in 1999, at the South Club in Kolkata, on grass.
National champion Mahak Jain subdued Humera Shaikh 7-5, 6-0 to clinch the women’s title in the Anirudh Desai Rs.22,00,000 AITA ranking tennis tournament at the Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana in Mumbai on Sunday.
In the men’s final, Siddharth Vishwakarma beat PC Vignesh 6-2, 6-4.
The title was worth Rs.2,00,000 each, and the runners-up collected Rs.1,00,000 each.
The mixed doubles title was bagged by Niki Poonacha and Rishika Sunkara. The pair, which beat Paras Dahiya and Eetee Maheta in the final, won Rs.1,00,000.
Men (final): Siddharth Vishwakarma bt PC Vignesh 6-2, 6-4.
Semifinals: PC Vignesh bt Manish Sureshkumar 6-3, 6-2; Siddharth Vishwakarma bt Kunal Anand 6-2, 7-6(4).
Doubles (final): Anirudh Chandrasekar & PC Vignesh bt Manish Sureshkumar & Prithvi Sekhar 6-4, 4-6, 11-9.
Semifinals: Anirudh Chandrasekar & PC Vignesh bt Kunal Vazirani & Prajwal Dev 6-4, 6-2; Manish Sureshkumar & Prithvi Sekhar bt Niki Poonacha & Ankit Chopra 6-2, 2-6, 10-4.
Women (final): Mahak Jain bt Humera Shaikh 7-5, 6-0.
Semifinals: Mahak Jain bt NIthya Raj 6-0, 6-3; Humera Shaikh w.o. Mihika Yadav.
Doubles (final): Eetee Maheta & Shweta Rana bt Nidhi Chilumula & Rishika Sunkara 6-4, 4-6, 11-9.
Semifinals: Eetee Maheta & Shweta Rana bt Sai Samhitha & Bhuvana Kalva 7-6(6), 6-2; Nidhi Chilumula & Rishika Sunkara bt Yubrani Banerjee & Humera Shaikh 6-4, 6-2.
Mixed doubles (final): Niki Poonacha & Rishika Sunkara bt Paras Dahiya & Eetee Maheta 6-3, 6-4.
Semifinals: Niki Poonacha & Rishika Sunkara bt PC Vignesh & Sai Samhitha 5-7, 6-3, 10-7; Paras Dahiya & Eetee Maheta bt Anirudh Chandrasekar & Kaaviya Balasubramanian 4-6, 6-3, 11-9.
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