Bhambri advances at Chennai Open

Chennai, Jan 3 (IANS) Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri defeated compatriot and local boy Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the second round of the 22nd Aircel Chennai Open at the SDAT Stadium here on Tuesday.

Bhambri displayed a compact, all-round game to overwhelm wild card Ramanathan in just 53 minutes.

The 24-year-old broke Ramanathan thrice in the first set and twice in the second, not giving him any chance to even put up a fight.

He played solidly from the back of the court but kept looking for opportunities to rush towards the net to set up easy winners.

“I just didn’t take my foot off the gas. I knew that Ram is a tough guy to play, especially in Chennai, and I didn’t want to give him anything to fight back with,” said Bhambri.

“I am match sharp. But I need to be more consistent on the court. So the plan is to get more matches under my belt, do more preparation for the tougher games ahead,” he added.

Commenting on the game, Ramanathan said: “Bhambri played a smart, aggressive game. He got all his first serves in while I had a very bad match. It was a bad day for me.”

“I started off badly, losing my first game itself. I got a whiff of a chance in the first game of the second set but Bhambri put pressure on me while I was defensive,” he added.

Earlier in the day, world No. 101 Aliaz Bedene of Great Britain pulled off a minor upset by defeating Spain’s No. 70 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-3 to keep the opening day trend of lower-ranked players ruling the roost.

Slovenia-born Bedene, who was the last player to gain direct entry into the main draw following the injury-induced withdrawal of Tommy Robredo, exhibited a compact, all- round game to get the better of the lanky Spanish veteran, once ranked World No. 23, in one hour 14 minutes.

Argentina’s Renzo Olivo and Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu, however, broke the trend by romping to facile victories.

Olivo stormed past the tournament’s youngest player Casper Ruud 7-6 (3), 6-2 in just over 1 hour and 19 minutes while Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan thumped Radu Albot of Moldova 6-2, 6-1 in just over an hour.