Yuki Bhambri sails past fifth seed in Challenger

The 24-year-old Yuki Bhambri, who has dropped only seven games in all in two rounds so far, will play Agustin Velotti of Argentina in the quarterfinal.

Yuki converted five of seven breakpoints and dropped serve once in the match on facing two breakpoints, against the 147th ranked Slovenian.   -  AP

Yuki Bhambri continued to impress as he dismissed fifth seed Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the pre-quarterfinal of the $50,000 Challenger tennis tournament in China on Thursday.

Yuki converted five of seven breakpoints and dropped serve once in the match on facing two breakpoints, against the 147th ranked Slovenian, who has won 14 Challenger singles titles and was ranked a career-best 68 in 2012.

The 24-year-old Yuki, who has dropped only seven games in all in two rounds so far, will play Agustin Velotti of Argentina in the quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, in the $15,000 women’s event in Egypt, Sai Samhitha saved four matchpoints to beat seventh seed Yana Sizikova of Russia 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5.

It was a remarkable fight back by Sai, who had finished runner-up in the national championship to Prerna Bhambri in 2015, as she trailed 4-6, 3-5 at one stage and saved four matchpoints over the next two games.

She missed two setpoints in the 12th game but served two of her four aces in the match in the tie-break to get even. In the decider, Sai ran up a 5-3 lead but missed a matchpoint in the ninth game, and later four more match-points in the 12th game, before she served out the match that lasted nearly three hours.

In a tough match in which Sai converted three of eight breakpoints and saved six of nine breakpoints, she won 119 points to 123 by her opponent. Sai won the decisive points in the second set tie-break that turned the match around. It was a revenge victory for Sai, as the Russian had beaten her in Egypt in 2014.

In the ITF grade-1 junior event in Thailand, second seed Zeel Desai was beaten 6-2, 6-3 by the 15-year-old fifth seed Xin Yu Wang of China in the girls quarterfinal.

The results:

$50,000 Challenger men (Zhuhai, China)

Singles (pre-quarterfinal): Yuki Bhambri bt Blaz Kavcic (Slo) 6-1, 6-4.

$15,000 ITF women (Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt)

Singles (pre-quarterfinal): Sai Samhitha bt Yana Sizikova (Rus) 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5.

Doubels (pre-quarterfinal): Ola Abou Zekry (Egy) & Anette Munozova (Swe) bt Dan Ni Wang (Chn) & Sai Samhitha 6-3, 6-3.

ITF grade-1 juniors (Nonthaburi, Thailand)

Girls (quarterfinal): Xin Yu Wang (Chn) bt Zeel Desai 6-2, 6-3.

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