Yuki Bhambri kept Indian singles hopes alive by reaching the final round of the Australian Open qualifying on Thursday. It was sweet revenge for the former junior Australian Open winner as he upset the World No. 165 Yoshihito Nishioka at Melbourne Park. The Japanese had beaten Yuki in their last meeting at the Asian Games.
Gutsy play from Yuki Bhambri
Earlier on Day 1 of the Australian Open qualifying both Somdev Devvarman and Ramkumar Ramanathan fell and Yuki Bhambri was the lone Indian to progress to the second round. (Check our first round qualifying report here.)
The World No. 314 is now one win away from his first ever main draw appearance at the year’s first Grand Slam after a 7-6(8), 6-3 win over Nishioka.
It was a gutsy display from Yuki Bhambri as he climbed back from 0-3 and then 1-4 down to force a tie-break in the first set. It was not easy for the Indian even in the tie-break as he trailed 2-5 initially. But he steadied the ship just in time to claim the hard-fought opening set 7-6(8) in 54 minutes.
Yuki was put under tremendous pressure by the Japanese’s returns in the third game of the second set. The Indian, however, managed to wriggle out of five break points and hold for a 2-1 lead. Bhambri then comfortably earned the first break of the second set to go up 4-2 and closed out the match 7-6(8), 6-3 in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Yuki Bhambri will next play World No. 179 Chase Buchanan on Saturday.
Yuki Bhambri showed a lot of promise when he captured the junior Australian Open back in 2009. It had not been a smooth journey since then with numerous injuries. But the confidence that he is currently showing, is perhaps a positive sign for better things to come in the future. Sports Rediscovered wishes Yuki all the best in his attempts to gain a main draw appearance at the year’s first Grand Slam.