Yuki Bhambri went down fighting in three sets to second seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan in the semifinals of the $75,000 Challenger tennis ournament in Shenzhen, China, on Saturday. The 24-year-old Yuki, ranked 341, collected 33 ATP points and $3,765.
After winning the ITF Futures title in Chandigarh, it was the second successive semifinal appearance in a Challenger for Yuki,who had lost to the eventual champion Evgeny Donskoy of Russia last week in Zhuhai.
Yuki will play another $50,000 Challenger in China in Quanzhou next week, and has been drawn to face Tatsuma Ito of Japan in the first round.
Meanwhile, Zeel Desai fought her way past Naho Sato of Japan in three sets to set up a title clash against Mahak Jain in the girls section of the ITF grade-1 junior tournament in Japan. Zeel had beaten Mahak in the ITF women’s final in Gwalior a fortnight earlier. The 14-year-old Mahak had beaten Zeel in the ITF grade-2 final in Delhi before the Australian Open.
The results: Men’s singles (semifinals): Yuichi Sugita (Jpn) bt Yuki Bhambri 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Girls (semifinals): Zeel Desai bt Naho Sato (Jpn) 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3; Mahak Jain bt Mihika Yadav 6-2, 6-2.
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