Indian hopes bundled out

CHENNAI, 04/01/2011: David Goffin winning the first round match at the Chennai Open Tennis Tournament on Tuesday. Photo: M_Vedhan

CHENNAI, 04/01/2011: David Goffin winning the first round match at the Chennai Open Tennis Tournament on Tuesday. Photo: M_Vedhan   | Photo Credit: M_Vedhan

A black Tuesday saw the elimination of the Indian angle from Chennai Open singles as all three representatives of the homeland were bundled out in the first round.

Yuki Bhambri's and Rohan Bopanna's ousters were followed by that of the 2009 finalist, Somdev Devvarman, who was given a piece of his own baseline medicine by rookie David Goffin of Belgium.

Twenty years old and a qualifier here, Goffin, ranked 229, made his first ATP Tour main draw match a memorable one by dealing the crowd favourite a 6-2, 6-4 loss.

A customary shaky starter, Devvarman began slowly and was down two breaks (0-4) in quicktime as the Belgian peppered him off both flanks, using his double-handed backhand to gain leverage during points.

Another break for Goffin — in the seventh game of the second set — was enough to see him through, the victory materialising when Devvarman's forehand flew beyond the baseline.

“Pretty much everything,” Devvarman replied, when asked what aspects of his game required a working over.

“He (Goffin) played three good matches in the qualifiers to come through, so he was in good nick. This was my first match of the year and I was a little patchy,” he said.

Top-seeded Tomas Berdych meanwhile marked his tournament debut with a 6-0, 6-1 wipe out of unseeded Frederico Gil.

The World No. 6 from the Czech Republic needed just 45 minutes to complete the rout as Gil was torn asunder in the face of a superior game, barely avoiding a double-bagel by getting on the board in the fag end of the second set.

Berdych won 88 per cent of his service points, broke Gil almost at will — five times, for the record — and indicated later that cakewalks such as these were few and far between on the Tour.

“I wanted to start the first match of the season well. Such easy wins are not going to happen all round the year, so I'm happy for it,” he said, setting up a second round meeting with Croatia's Ivan Dodig.

Earlier, India received its first expected jolt in singles as wildcard Yuki Bhambri went down 6-2, 6-1 to Russian qualifier Alexandre Kudryavtsev in the first round. The 18-year-old was broken thrice in each set before the 50-minute encounter on centre court ended with his forehand bunt sinking into the net.

Bhambri was followed in quick succession by Bopanna, another wildcard recipient, who failed to extend his stay in the tournament beyond the freebie first round match.

2010 finalist Stanislas Wawrinka was all business as he despatched Bopanna 6-4, 6-4, showing no deleterious after-effects of an acrimonious doubles loss incurred late on Monday night.

Relegated to a fringe court, France's Richard Gasquet, the fourth seed, eased across countryman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in straight sets. But another compatriot, Jeremy Chardy, the fifth seed, was upset 6-3, 6-2 by Croatia's Blaz Kavcic.

The results: 1st round: Singles: Alexandre Kudryavtsev (Rus) bt Yuki Bhambri (Ind) 6-2, 6-1; Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Frederico Gil (Por) 6-0, 6-1; Richard Gasquet (Fra) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Fra) 6-1, 6-3; Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) bt Rohan Bopanna (Ind) 6-4, 6-4; Xavier Malisse (Bel) bt Marsel Ilhan (Tur) 6-3, 6-1, David Goffin (Bel) bt Somdev Devvarman (Ind) 6-2, 6-4; Blaz Kavcic (Slo) bt Jeremy Chardy (Fra) 6-3, 6-2; Yuichi Sugita (Jpn) bt Dustin Brown (Ger) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, Robin Haase (Ned) bt Frank Dancevic (Can) 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4.

Doubles: Simone Bolelli (Ita) & Janko Tipsarevic (Srb) bt Divij Sharan & Vishnu Vardhan (Ind) 6-2, 6-2; Marin Cilic & Ivan Dodig (Cro) bt Leos Friedl (Cze) & Jordan Kerr (Aus) 6-0, 7-5.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 25, 2020 1:34:22 PM |

Next Story