Paire packs off listless Yuki

Frenchman advances in straight sets; Bopanna-Jeevan through

Paire packs off listless Yuki

There were no dearth of chances to stage a comeback but Yuki Bhambri struggled to contain his unforced errors and was knocked out of the Chennai Open with a straight set defeat against world number 47 Benoit Paire on Thursday.

Yuki, who entered the main draw via qualifying, squandered all seven breakpoints he got in the match to end with a 3-6, 4–6 defeat in his second round match.

Meanwhile in the doubles segment, Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan booked their place in the semifinals with a hard fought win over James Cerretani of the US and Austria’s Philipp Oswald. The Indian duo won 6-2, 3-6, 12-10.

They will take on Nicholas Monroe of the US and Russia Artem Sitak. Earlier,  his penetrating serve proved to be the saving weapon for Paire as the Frenchman used it effectively whenever he faced breakpoints.

With Yuki’s defeat, India’s challenge has ended in the singles with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni exiting in the first round.

In other matches, second seed Roberto Bautista Agut had no problem in dispatching Brazil’s Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-2 to move to the quarterfinals. Also sailing into the last-eight round was Mihail Youzhny, who defeated Renzo Olivo 6-1, 7-5.

Yuki could have put Paire under pressure when the Frenchman was 15-30 down in the opening game of first but was hesitant to finish the point early. The Indian lacked controlled over his strokes and was hit by number of unforced errors. A wide backhand on first by Yuki gave the Frenchman early break.

Paire served the next at love to race to a 3-0 lead. Yuki got on board in the fourth and did not lose a single point in that game.

Yuki started to get into rhythm and an interesting duel began in the fifth game as he put his rival under relentless pressure. He created two break chances but Paire managed to wriggle out and served out the game with an ace for a commanding 4-1 lead.

Yuki had a chance to make a comeback as he had a breakpoint when Paire served for the set but the Indian hit his forehand wide. The plan was right but execution was not proper.

Some unusual unforced errors from Paire meant that he squandered three set points, serving double faults in two of them, but Paire finally took the set with an ace.

It was a decent start for Yuki in the second set as he served at love. Then he had three chances to break Paire in the second but converted none. The credit goes to the Frenchman for serving well in crisis moments.

Paire was now feeling the heat with Yuki coming up with some penetrating strokes. Yuki was down a breakpoint in the third but saved it. Frustrated to let go the chance, Paire threw his racquet when Yuki served out the game.

The Indian did not help his cause by conceding a break in the fifth as Paire opened up a 4-2 lead by holding his serve in the sixth game.

Yuki had a chance to break in that game but did not cash in on. He saved two match points in the ninth game but Paire served out the match in the next.

Results: Round II: 5-Benoit Paire (Fra) bt Yuki Bhambri (Ind) 6-3, 6-4; 7-Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) bt Renzo Olivo (Arg) 6-1, 7-5; 2-Roberto Bautista (Esp) bt Rogerio Dutra Silva (Bra) 6-3, 6-2.

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