Yuki falls at first hurdle
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Showing considerable promise and being unable to live up to it has been the story of Yuki Bhambri's professional career. Given a wild card for the third straight time at the Chennai Open, was no different. Against Dutchman Robin Haase, Bhambri had break opportunities on Haase's serve on plenty of occasions in the first set. But against the number 56 in the world, Bhambri just wasn't good enough to either convert the breakpoints to breaks or make his opportunities count.
The scoreline hence was a suitable one — a straight sets defeat for the Indian player. Bhambri lost 5-7, 3-6, the tournament's sixth seed proceeded to round two.
"I think I played a good match," claimed Bhambri. "It was just one break of serve in either set, I had some opportunities that I couldn't take because he really stepped it up on important points when he was down." And in sport, those are just the points that count.
In the first set, Bhambri had a break point on Haase's serve at 1-1, but as was the case with all his break points that followed, Haase managed to save it. Bhambri followed that up with a show of some good serving and held the next game on love. Bhambri's serve was good, often saving break points on it.
However, when it came to piling pressure on Haase, Bhambri could not do enough and frittered away another break point in the seventh game. At 4-4, Bhambri hit a forehand winner from deep in the court and earned himself a third chance to go up in the set. But Haase sneaked his way out of that as well and came up with an ace to hold serve.
The match was well on serve after 11 games but in the 12th, Bhambri was staring at three break points down and double faulted to give away the break and the set. In the second, Bhambri was broken in the eighth game and Haase wrapped up the match in under an hour.