Chennai Open Challenger: Bhambri labours through, Thompson has it easy

Yuki Bhambri stormed into the semis after seeing off Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

Yuki Bambri next faces teenager Duckhee Lee in the semis.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

Japan's Yasutaka Uchiyama was well on course to deliver the first big upset of the tournament but a resolute Yuki Bhambri clawed back in remarkable fashion to clinch a thrilling 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win and soar into the semifinal of the Chennai Open Challenger on Thursday.

Bhambri looked off-colour in the first set and was simply unable to convert the big points. He had a fine chance to take the upper hand when he was serving for the first set at 5-4 but Uchiyama broke his serve and won the next two games to snatch away the set at 7-5.

The Japanese, however, failed to find his groove in the second set as Bhambri broke him in the third and fifth game to take an unassailable 5-1 lead and wrap up the set in a mere 28 minutes.

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Bhambri was at his clinical best in the third and flirted with the lines on multiple occasions to deliver a plethora of winners. Uchiyama seemed to wither away towards the end and the second-seeded Bhambri ended his misery with a forehand cross-court volley to win the tie in a grueling two hours and six minutes.

The 25-year-old next faces teenager Duckhee Lee, who booked his spot in the semis with a spectacular 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over unseeded Frenchman Antoine Escoffier.

Thompson has it easy

First seed Jordan Thompson had an easy passage into the last-four as his opponent Danilo Petrovic retired in the second set. The Australian broke Petrovic in the ninth game and held serve to take the first set 6-4. Thompson appeared to be in cruise control in the second set with a 3-0 lead and was up 40-0 in the fourth game when Petrovic decided to call it a day.

The Aussie will look to book his berth in the final when he takes on 20-year-old Spaniard Pedro Martinez in the semifinal, who defeated fourth seed Mohamed Safwat 7-5, 6-2 in their last-eight encounter.

Ratiwatanas stunned

The team of Cem Ilkel and Danilo Petrovic stunned doubles top seeds Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana 7-6 (5), 2-6, 10-8.

Ilkel and Petrovic will face the Indian duo of N. Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan in the final, who registered a comfortable 6-3, 7-5 win over Luca Margaroli and Saketh Myneni.

The results (Indians unless otherwise mentioned):

Singles quarterfinal: Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt. Danilo Petrovic (SRB) 6-4, 3-0 (retd.); Yuki Bhambri bt. Yasutaka Uchiyama (JAP) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4; Duckhee Lee (KOR) bt Antoine Escoffier (FRA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Pedro Martinez (ESP) bt. Mohamed Safwat (EGY) 7-5, 6-2.

Doubles semifinal: Cem Ilkel (TUR) & Danilo Petrovic (SRB) bt. Sonchat Ratiwatana (THA) & Sanchai Ratiwatana 7-6 (5), 2-6, 10-8; N. Sriram Balaji & Vishnu Vardhan bt. Luca Margaroli (SUI) & Saketh Myneni 6-3, 7-5.