Chennai Open Challenger: Thompson and Bhambri survive scares

Top seeds Jordan Thompson and Yuki Bhambri survived minor scares to move into the second round of the Chennai Open Challenger.

Jordan Thompason Chennai Open ATP Challenger Tennis Tournament

Jordan Thompson during the first round match action at the Chennai Open ATP Challenger Tennis Tournament at SDAT Tennis Stadium, Nungambakkam on Tuesday.   -  R. Ragu

It was all about experience over vigour as the top two seeds – Jordan Thompson and Yuki Bhambri – survived minor scares to move into the second round of the Chennai Open Challenger at the SDAT tennis court in Nungambakkam on Tuesday.

Day 1 report - Nagal crashes out, Kadhe dumps Myneni

In a game of hard-hitting tennis, Thompson defeated unseeded Egyptian Karim-Mohamed Maamoun 6-4, 6-2 in the first match on centre-court. Maamoun broke the Australian's serve early on but Thompson staged a break of his own to make it 2-2. Maamoun had a splendid breakpoint opportunity to make it 5-4 in his favour and serve for the set, but the 101st ranked Thompson's experience kicked in and he not only won the game but also broke Maamoun's next service game to take the first set.

The top seed failed to grab on to a break chance early in the second set but it did not matter as he broke the Egyptian in the next game to race to a 3-1 lead. It was all Thompson hereafter, as he rolled through the next few games, breaking serve again before seeing out the match. He will next face Thai qualifier Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul in the second round.

Top-ranked Indian Yuki Bhambri was made to sweat it out and was stretched the distance in his 6-1, 7-6 win over Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles amidst a lazy afternoon breeze.

Bhambri had it easy in the first set and broke Miralles' serve twice to steal the set 6-1.

However, Miralles brought his A game to the court and gave the Indian a run for his money in the second set. The Spaniard broke Bhambri in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held serve to make it 5-3. Bhambri struggled to deliver his first serves and Miralles made the most of it by racing to a set point at 40-30 and push the match into a deciding third set. However, he squandered the point and with that, the match.

Bhambri held serve to make it 5-5 and both players held serve over the next two games to take it to a tie-break. The Indian proved to be far superior in his ground-strokes and went on to clinch the tie-break 7-3.

Qualifier S. Abhinav Sanjeev had the wind blowing his way as he made it to the second due to forfeiture. His opponent – Russia's Ivan Nedelko – retired owing to a stomach bug. Nedelko won the first set 6-3 and was trailing 4-5 in the second set when he decided to throw in the towel.

The results (first round, draw of 32):

Jordan Thompson (Aus) bt Karim-Mohamed Maamoun (Egy) 6-4, 6-2; Pedro Martinez (Esp) bt G. Prajnesh 6-1, 6-4; Yasutaka Uchiyama (Jpn) bt Max Purcell (Aus) 6-1, 7-6 (5); Danilo Petrovic (Srb) bt S. Manish 6-4, 6-2; S. Abhinav Sanjeev w/o Ivan Nedelko (Rus) 3-6, 5-4 (retd.); Cem Ilkel (Tur) bt Dmitry Popko (Kaz) 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2; Enrique Lopez Perez (Egy) bt Kimmer Coppejans (Bel) 7-5, 6-4; Yuki Bhambri bt Bernabe Zapata Miralles (Esp) 6-1, 7-6 (3).

Men’s Doubles results: Cem Ilkel (TUR) & Danilo Petrovic (SRB) bt. [3] Gerard Granollers (ESP) & Yasutaka Uchiyama (JPN) 7-5, 6-3; [WC] Kunal Anand (IND) & Anvit Bendre (IND) bt. Nikola Cacic (SRB) & Ivan Nedelko (RUS) 2-0 (retd.); Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND) & N. Vijay Sundar Prashanth (IND) bt. [WC] Arjun Kadhe (IND) &Dhakshineswar Suresh (IND) 7-6(3), 6-1; Tuna Altuna (TUR) & Mohamed Safwat (EGY) bt. Pedro Martinez (ESP) & Sumit Nagal (IND) 6-3 (retd.); Alessandro Bega (ITA) & Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) bt. Lucas Catarina (MON) & Max Purcell (AUS) 6-2, 6-3.