Tata Open Maharashtra: Yuki Bhambri beats Kovalik in singles opening round

Indiaโ€™s Yuki Bhambri registered a sensational come-from-behind win over Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia in the menโ€™s singles opening round of the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Monday.

The 29-year-old Indian, who had started directly in the main draw at South Asiaโ€™s only ATP 250 event, secured a 6-7 (10), 6-2, 7-5 win in his opener.

After losing the hard-fought first set, the former junior world number one, who made a comeback into the international circuit recently after a two-year break due to injury, started the second with 2-0 lead and looked in good touch. He didnโ€™t let the momentum shift away before bagging the set easily and levelling scores.

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“Letting the first game slip was a bit yo yo. Sat down, got back but because it is so close and felt so comfortable that gave me confidence to keep attacking which helped me in the second set in the end,” Bhambri said after the match.

In the decider, the Delhi-born player converted a break point to take the scores at 3-3 and then added one more set point to keep himself ahead in the game.

Though the 29-year-old Slovakian tried his best to make a comeback into the contest, Bhambri held his nerves and clinched the decider to advance into the second round.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the other Indian who will be in action in the singles main draw later tonight. He will take on fifth-seed German Daniel Altmaier.ย 

Other results:

Men’s Singles (Round of 32): Quentin Halys (Fra) bt Ricardas Berankis (Ltu) 6-1, 6-2; Radu Albot (Mda) bt Federico Gaio (Ita) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

Men’s Doubles (Round of 16): Like Saville & John-Patrick Smith (Aus) bt Stefano Travaglia (Ita) & Bernabe Zapata Miralles (Spa) 6-1, 6-4; Sadio Doumbia & Fabien Reboul (Fra) bt Szymon Walkow & Jan Zielinski (Pol) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).

Men’s Singles (Qualifiers): Vita Kopriva (Cze) bt Altug Celikbilek (Tur) 6-7 (7-4), 6-3, 7-5; Elias Ymer (Swe) bt Marc Polmans (Aus) 6-4, 6-4; Jay Clarke (Gbr) bt Alexandre Muller (Fra) 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 6-4; Gian Marco Moroni (Aus) bt Kimmer Coppejans (Bel) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

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