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Posted at: Jan 4, 2018, 1:54 AM; last updated: Jan 4, 2018, 1:54 AM (IST)TATA OPEN

India’s singles challenge ends

Ramkumar fights before going down to Cilic, Yuki throws it away
India’s singles challenge ends
Yuki Bhambri plays a forehand against Pierre-Hugues Herbert during their second round match in Pune on Wednesday. PTI

Pune, January 3

Ramkumar Ramanathan enhanced his reputation of being a fighter even in defeat, while Yuki Bhambri squandered six break chances and crashed out of the Tata Open here today. Bhambri’s first serve let him down as he bowed out with a 6-4 3-6 4-6 defeat against eighth seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second round.

In complete contrast, Ramanathan played with a lot of passion against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic before bowing out with a 4-6 3-6 defeat in the second round. Cilic served bombs, one of them at a speed of 223km/h, and Ramanathan struggled to cope with his power-packed game. To his credit, the 23-year-old did not buckle. Ramanathan’s defeat meant that the Indian challenge ended in the singles section.

World No. 118 Bhambri needed to play percentage tennis against a rival like Herbert, ranked 81, but struggled. His second serve didn’t have any sting, making it easier for Herbert to attack.

That was the difference between the two players. While Herbert used his service as a big weapon, firing 13 aces, Bhambri’s serve deserted him. His first-serve percentage read just 57 at the end of the match. 

In other matches, world No. 89 Gilles Simon stunned defending champion and world No. 20 Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 7-6(5) to move into the quarterfinals.

Robin Haase came from behind to defeat Nicolas Jarry 3-6 7-6(5) 7-5. He will next play Benoit Paire, who won 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(6) against Marton Fucsovics. — PTI


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