Yuki Bhambri showed his maturity as a seasoned professional as he refused to be ruffled while trailing 4-1 in the second set of the first-round match at the KPIT-MSLTA USD 50,000 Pune Challenger. The third seeded Indian had already pocketed the first set against the Japanese qualifier Kaichi Uchida.

Acclimatising and going through the tennis drills here for three days had prepared the six footer for the week’s challenge, and he showed glimpses of his multi-dimensional skills and craft while quelling the challenge Uchida’s challenge. Bhambri won 6-2, 7-5.

Coming into the Pune event after decent displays in the Moscow and Ho Chi Minh City Challengers, Bhambri was the clear favourite against Uchida. After dropping a game in the second set, Bhambri quickly got his act together to break back and level at 4-4. In the end, he charged to the net for a delectable drop shot and then saw his opponent’s hit sail over the baseline to clinch the opening round in one hour and 18 minutes at the Centre Court.


Sumit Nagal was the first of the five Indians drawn for action at the Centre Court on Tuesday; he showed a lot of perseverance and purpose while putting it across Austrian Lucas Miedler. After slugging it out 15 minutes in the 10th and 11th games of the first set, the fearless Nagal won the 12th game without conceding a point and dominated the tie-breaker. The 20-year-old Nagal hardly put a foot wrong in the second as he won 6-0.

Gaining an entry into the first round as a lucky loser, Vijay Sundar Prashanth looked the part against the 19-year-old Aryan Goveas. Taking a very short medical break to treat a left-eye issue, Goveas won a handful of points with solid serves, but these big points came late in the day for him to change the course of the match against a very experienced rival.


India No. 2 Ramkumar Ramanathan and Marc Polmans engaged themselves in a top quality first round match for two hours and 56 minutes before the No. 4 seed posted an incredible 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(9) win in the fourth Centre Court match played on Tuesday.

The first two sets was shared by the two on tie-breaker and the fate of the third set and match hung largely on the sheer willpower; to play smart and produce winners and on this count, Ramkumar turned out to be better and he eventually lived to fight another day in the tournament, winning the energy-draining decider.

Sumit Nagal bt Lucas Miedler (Austria) 7-6 (1), 6-0; Yuki Bhambri (3) bt Kaichi Uchida (Japan) 6-2, 7-5; Vijay Sundar Prashanth bt Aryan Goveas 6-3, 6-4; Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia) bt Geoffrey Blacaneaux (France) 6-4, 6-4; Brydan Klein (Great Britain) bt Pedro Martinez (Spain) 6-2, 6-3; Hugo Grenier (France) bt Tsung Hua Yang (Taipei) 6-2, 6-3; Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Spain) bt Borna Gojo (Croatia) 6-2, 6-3; Nikola Milojevic (Serbiá) bt Ivan Nedelko (Russia) 6-4, 6-1; Ramkumar Ramanathan bt Marc Polmans 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(9); Pedja Krstin (Serbiá) bt Antoine Escoffier (France) 6-4, 7-6 (5); Ante Pavic (Croatia) bt Arjun Kadhe 7-6 (5) , 7-6 (4).