Bhambri gets past KadheJanuary 3, 2018
Yuki Bhambri ensured that Arjun Kadhe’s ATP Tour level debut would last just one match after he beat him 6-3, 6-4 in the Tata Open Maharashtra here on Tuesday.
India’s highest-ranked player will meet France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round.
It wasn’t quite the schooling one had come to expect from Bhambri, for he was well below his best.
His serving speed wasn’t always up to the mark and he missed way more shots than he would have liked to. Still, getting through the initial round was crucial not necessarily of the manner of it.
“Not the cleanest of tennis,” Bhambri admitted later. “It was not as easy as the scoreline suggests. But happy to get a winning start.”
In the opening set, Bhambri broke to go 2-1 up but let Kadhe restore parity immediately.
It was, however, the only sniff the World No. 118 would allow that set.
He changed direction almost with every shot and seldom provided his opponent time. When Kadhe did find an opening, he mostly overcooked his strokes.
Kadhe’s serve was a liability. He served five double faults to Bhambri’s zero including three in one game which cost him the first set.
Bhambri was particularly severe on the Kadhe’s second serve, winning 17 of 25 points.
It was, however, to local lad’s credit that he didn’t throw in the towel.
At the start of the second set, he even managed to endanger Bhambri’s serve.
But the latter stepped it up not long after and took the set 6-4 and with that the match.
Earlier in the day, Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka dismantled Sumit Nagal 6-3, 6-3.
The 20-year-old, also making his first ATP tour level main draw appearance, was never in the match, winning less than half of his service points.
Ivashka needed only one break of serve to take the first set and when he broke in the first game of the second, Nagal wilted.
Even the presence of his mentor and India’s Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi among those cheering didn’t help Nagal.
The much-anticipated doubles match between Leander Paes-Purav Raja and Rohan Bopanna-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan also proved uncompetitive as the defending champions Bopanna and Jeevan outclassed their opponents 6-3, 6-2 in under an hour.
First round: Yuki Bhambri bt Arjun Kadhe 6-3, 6-4; Ilya Ivashka (Blr) bt Sumit Nagal 6-3, 6-3; Robin Haase (Ned) bt Blaz Kavcic (Slo) 7-6(6), 7-5; Lasio Djere (Srb) bt Marius Copil (Rou) 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.
Thiago Monteiro (Bra) bt Ruben Bemelmans (Bel) 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(8).
Doubles: Rohan Bopanna & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan bt Leander Paes & Purav Raja 6-3, 6-2.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Gilles Simon (Fra) bt Kevin Anderson (Rsa) & Jonathan Erlich (Isr) 3-6, 6-3, [10-5].
Robert Lindstedt (Swe) & Franko Skugor (Cro) bt Marton Fucsovics (Hun) & Mikhail Kukushkin (Kaz) 6-4, 6-1.
Roman Jebavy & Jiri Vesely (Cze) bt Radu Albot (Mda) & Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-4, 6-3.