A rusty Yuki Bhambri created a stream of errors to face an opening round loss to Belgium’s Joris De Loore in the $50,000 ATP challenger of the Delhi Open at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old, who was the top seed in men’s singles, lost 4-6, 6-7(4) to his Belgium opponent, ranked 302. The 99th ranked Delhi boy played well in patches but fumbled on big points to go down in one hour and 40 minutes.
An elbow injury earlier this year had kept him out of action before he returned to face couple of first round of losses. The lack of match sharpness was evident in his game.
“I made a lot of unforced error. I just need to return to practice,” Yuki said. He later joined forces with doubles exponent Mahesh Bhupathi to rally to beat wildcard holders Sood brothers -- Lakshit and Chandril 4-6, 6-1, 10-2.
In other opening round singles matches, wildcard Prajnesh Gunneswaran beat qualifier Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-4, 6-4 while qualifier Vishnu Vardhan dispatched wildcard and Rendez-Vous event winner Adil Kalyanpur 6-1, 6-1. Vardhan will take on Chinese Zhi Li next, who had taken out fifth-seeded Yannick Mertens.
Also to make first round exit was national champion and wildcard holder N Sriram Balaji, who lost 6-7(4), 3-6 to seventh-seed Chinese Yan Bai. Another wildcard N Vijay Sundar Prashanth followed him with a 2-6, 2-6 loss to Taipiei's Jimmy Wang.
In the women's event, India's number one singles player Ankita Raina beat compatriot Prerna Bhambri 6-1, 7-6 (2).
Joining her in the second round was lucky loser Mihika Yadav who beat qualifier Ola Abou Zekry of Egypt 6-0, 6-3.
Karman Kaur Thandi is the only other Indian to advance to the second round. She would be now be facing fourth-seeded Ya-Hsuan Lee of Taipei, who beat Indian wildcard Sai Samhitha Chamarthi 6-0, 6-3.