Yuki Bhambri enters Chennai Open Challenger final

It was an outing to remember for Indian tennis ace Yuki Bhambri as he took just an hour and 25 minutes to advance into the final of the Chennai Open Challenger with a straight set win over Lee Duck-hee of South Korea at the SDAT Tennis Stadium here on Friday.

Yuki Bhambri will next face Jordan Thompson in the summit clash.   -  R. Ragu

Yuki Bhambri stormed into the Chennai Open Challenger final with a resounding 7-5, 6-2 semifinal win over South Korea's Duckhee Lee at the SDAT tennis courts in Nungambakkam on Friday. Bhambri will take on top seed Jordan Thomspon for a shot at the title on Saturday.

The first set went on serve until the eleventh game when Bhambri got the crucial breakthrough and broke Lee's serve with a brilliant inside-out forehand cross-court.  He went on to hold serve and take the upper-hand and the set in the next game.

The top-ranked Indian came all guns blazing in the second set and Lee's game was littered with errors.  Bhambri romped to a 3-1 lead and Lee threw away the seventh game with a double fault, gifting Bhambri a chance to serve for the match. The second-seed latched onto the opportunity and served out a perfect game to clinch the tie in 85 minutes.

Thompson breezes past Martinez

Australia’s Jordan Thompson booked his spot in the title-clash after a hard-fought 6-1, 7-6 (5) victory over unseeded Spaniard Pedro Martinez.

Thompson was in blistering form in the scorching heat and Martinez's plethora of unforced errors made the task easier as he snatched the first set 6-1 in all of 26 minutes.

However, Martinez seemed to have finally found his rhythm in the second set to break the top seed in the fifth game and go up 3-2. The Aussie, however, came back with a break of his own to make it 4-4. Both players held serve over the next four games, taking the set to a tie-breaker. Thompson's experience came to the fore and he delivered a couple of thundering serves to seal the tie-breaker at 7-5.

Thompson wary of Bhambri

Talking ahead of Saturday's clash against Bhambri, Thompson recalled how the Indian had given him a “lesson” the last time the two played at the Shanghai Open in 2015. “He beat me easily the last time we played. He gave me a lesson!” conceded an embarrassed Thomspon. “I watched him beat Gael Monfils in Washington last year. He's a capable player and will be tough to beat,” added the top seed.

Singles semifinal results: Yuki Bhambri bt. Duckhee Lee (KOR) 7-5, 6-2; Jordan Thompson (AUS) bt. Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-1, 7-6 (5).

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