Bhambri qualifies for Australian Open

Last Updated 14 January 2018, 12:32 IST

Yuki Bhambri  on Sunday qualified for the Australian Open with a come-from-behind win but Ramkumar Ramanathan missed out on his maiden Grand Slam appearance.

The 25-year old Bhambri overcame a first set lapse to tame Canadian Peter Polansky 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the third and final qualifying round in one hour and 55 minutes.

He will take on Cyprus' seasoned star Marcos Baghdatis, who was a finalist here in 2006, in the first round.

It will be third Australian Open men's singles main draw for Bhambri who had lost in the first round in 2015 and 2016 to Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych respectively.

Meanwhile, Ramkumar had a break chance in the fifth game of the decider but could not convert and eventually lost his third round match 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 to Canadian Vasek Pospisil.

At Grand Slams, it is Ramkumar's best show, reaching the final qualifying round. Bhambri, who was junior world number one, had won Australian Open boys singles title in 2009 and has played only at this Grand Slam in the main draw since turning Pro.

Asked what makes him perform at Melbourne Park, Bhambri said," I don't know what makes me play better here. Maybe the conditions suit me or I am just familiar with it because I have played here before."

In his first two attempts, Bhambri could not make much of the chance as he drew very strong opponents for his opening matches. "I am hoping that I can win a few rounds in the main draw," said Bhambri, who won his sixth ATP Challenger title in Pune in November.

Tomic  slide continues  

Bernard  Tomic's slide down the ATP rankings is set to continue after he fell 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 to Italy's Lorenzo Sonego in the final round of Australian Open qualifying on Sunday.

A former world number 17 but now ranked 142,  Tomic  will miss out on his home Grand Slam after 10 successive main draw appearances.

The 25-year-old appeared crushed by the defeat and snapped sarcastically at reporters when asked where he would go from there.

"I just count money, that's all I do. I count my millions," said the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist, who reached the third round at Melbourne Park last year.

"You go do what I did (on court). Bye Bye."

The setback follows on from  Tomic's forgettable 2017 season, during which he declared himself "bored" by tennis at Wimbledon and spoke of feeling "trapped" during media interviews.

Once touted as a future top-10 player and potential Grand Slam winner,  Tomic's slide has triggered both concern and criticism in Australia.

Tennis Australia said it had reached out to  Tomic  out of fear for his "health and wellbeing" in November but declined to offer him a wildcard for the grand slam.

The player was lambasted by home media last year for bragging in a TV interview about his wealth and prize money despite not trying very hard through his career.

(Published 14 January 2018, 11:54 IST)

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