Devvarman overcomes Karunuday in a scrappy duel; Ramkumar, Myneni bow out
At the end of the first set, the odds of Yuki Bhambri finishing on the losing side were steep. He had just taken the set 6-2, enchanting a sizeable crowd on the DLTA Court 1 with his superior ability and confidence.
Yet, it unravelled unfavourably for sixth seed Bhambri. The final scoreline of 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of the ONGC GAIL $100,000 ATP Delhi Challenger fails to tell the story of Bhambri’s defeat. The 21-year-old held a match point on Lucas Pouille’s serve and later failed to serve the match out at 5-4 in the decider. The manner of the defeat became excruciatingly worse when he was broken in the final game of the match after leading 40-15.
Exuberance does him in
As he admitted later, he went for a bit too much on crucial points. Whether it was the adrenalin or the recently-discovered confidence, it’s tough to say. Yet, the exuberance hurt him.
Bhambri acknowledged that his performance dipped after the first set. But, he seemingly regained ground at the beginning of the third. An early break was secured and it seemed decisive. Still, one needs to acknowledge that this match came at the end of a cycle that has consumed Bhambri physically. “I got a few days of rest after Kolkata. Though I have been there mentally, there have been times that I feel I have used myself up physically.” Bhambri added.
However, second seed Somdev Devvarman did find a place in the second round after overcoming wildcard Karunuday Singh 6-2, 7-5 in a scrappy encounter. Devvarman failed to get going on the centre court but did enough to not lose a set.
Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni, though, failed to make it to the last 16 despite pushing their first-round opponents hard.
Myneni was 4-3 up in the tiebreak of both the sets but lost 7-6(4), 7-6(4) to Italian Thomas Fabbiano. Ramkumar gave last week's $50,000 Kolkata Challenger winner Ilija Bozoljac a scare but ultimately lost 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4.
The results (firstround): Singles: Yuichi Sugita (Jpn) bt Agustin Velotti (Arg) 6-1, 7-6 (4); Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) bt Saketh Myneni 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4); Lucas Pouille (Fra) bt Yuki Bhambri 2-6, 7-5, 7-5; Axel Michon (Fra) bt Adrian Menendez-Maceiras (Esp) 6-2, 6-1; Blaz Rola (Slo) bt Daniel Munoz-de La Nava (Esp) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5); Radu Albot (Mda) bt Daniel Cox (Gbr) 6-4, 6-3; Matthias Bachinger (Ger) bt Steven Diez (Can) 2-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5; Ze Zhang (Chn) bt Tsung-Hua Yang (Tpe) 6-1, 6-1; Somdev Devvarman bt Karunuday Singh 6-2, 7-5; Ilija Bozoljac (Srb) bt Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-2, 6-7( 5), 6-4; Thomas Fabbiano (Ita) bt Saketh Myneni 7-6(4), 7-6(4).
Doubles: Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh bt Divij Sharan and Purav Raja 7-6 (4), 1-6, 10-4.