Yuki Bhambri asserted his undisputed class with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over the top-seeded Vishnu Vardhan in the final of the $10,000 ITF men’s Futures tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.
It was the fourth singles title in the last five tournaments at home for the 17-year-old Yuki, and a morale booster before his ensuing attempt to capture the junior title in the US Open.
It was Vishnu who started in a whirlwind fashion, as he raced to a 4-1 lead, serving and stroking with intensity. Yuki won only a solitary point in the first three games.
Perhaps, it was too good to sustain, and Vishnu lost his way, and lost the next eight games in a row, that virtually finished the match as a contest.
The revival was triggered by Yuki’s ability to recover his rhythm and raise his game to an impressive level, as if he was just changing a gear.
The tall and wiry Delhi lad fired three aces in a row to hold serve at love in the fourth game, which stood in such stark contrast to the three doublefaults that he had delivered in the second game.
Moving well into his strokes and executing with control and punch, Yuki called the shots for the rest of the match. He did face breakpoints in the second and sixth games of the second set, but Yuki"s serve had regained the sting and direction, while Vishnu lacked the confidence to capitalise on the chances.
Vishnu missed as many as four gamepoints in a long drawn ninth game of the second set, and Yuki put away a backhand overhead volley to close the contest on the second matchpoint.
“It feels great to win another title. I had a horrible start. I have to figure that out. You can’t afford even a bad game at this level. I was confident, and am glad to have pushed my game up,” said Yuki, quite pleased with his work.
He was limping a bit midway through the second set, but Yuki dismissed that as a minor problem as he had slipped a bit and had taken more water than required.
Vishnu said that he too had to figure it out, but claimed that it had nothing to do with his mental make up.
“My serve let me down today,” said Vishnu, who had dropped only one point in his first three service games, holding two of them at love.
“I tried different things, but it didn’t work out. It was just a bad day,” said Vishnu who had made it to two successive finals at home, after having won his maiden title in the last circuit.
Yuki was happy with his preparation for the US Open, especially with the fact that the same balls were used in the tournament at home.
“The courts would be a bit slow in New York, but am happy to have got so many matches. I train for a few days at the Nick Bollettieri Centre before the US Open,” said Yuki.
There was a hitch in his plan, as Yuki could not get the South Africa visa for the Davis Cup World Group play-off match.
“The server was down and they said that it would take another week. I had to withdraw my passport yesterday, as am leaving for the US tonight. I will try to get the visa there,” said Yuki.