Kolkata: While Ramkumar Ramanathan kept the Indian flag flying high by entering the quarterfinals of the Emami Kolkata Open, Yuki Bhambri lost his second round match at the Bengal Tennis Association Complex here Wednesday.
Yuki Bhambri. Pic/AFP
Bhambri lost to sixth seeded Radu Albot of the Republic of Maldova 3-6, 6-2, 1-6 in an hour and 50 minutes.
In the first game, Ramanathan seemed very confident after Tuesday's win over Somdev Devvarman. He clinched the match against Miki Jankovic 6-1, 5-7, 7-5 in two hours and 12 minutes.
He broke Jankovic from Serbia twice in the opening set. The World No.267 from Chennai took a huge lead of 5-0 in no time. Jankovic somehow held his serve for once but immediately lost out on the next game, thereby allowing Ramanathan to win the set 6-1.
The second set progressed with hold of serves as the Serbian seemed more composed and patient, and the set touched 5-6 with the Indian on serve.
Ramanathan faltered at the game point as he was serving at advantage in, and that gave Jankovic an opportunity to play strong and break the former to win the set 7-5 and push the match to a decider.
In the third, Ramanathan opened the set by breaking Jankovic and took a 3-1 lead but eventually dropped his own in the eighth game, leveling the set at 4-4.
In the 11th game, Ramanathan was lucky as he played 12 points to ultimately break Jankovic and lead by 6-5 to go on serve.
In the final game, Ramanathan was 30-0 up but served two consecutive double faults to make it 30-30, thereby giving a scare to the silent audience who were desperately waiting to see an Indian face in the next round.
With the next two points, Ramanathan proved too strong for his opponent as he not only served big but also played powerful shots to catch the net and won 7-5.
In the second game, Albot staved off the challenge from Bhambri after battling with heat and humidity in the pre-quarterfinal.
Bhambri failed to start strong as he kept dropping his serves in the opening set, which included the first game as well, thereby losing it by 3-6.
In the second set, the 27-year-old Indian seemed to have gathered some confidence thinking about his straight set victory against Albot in the Delhi Open as he played almost flawless to quickly win the set 6-2 in 37 minutes, breaking the World No.164 thrice.
In the decider, Bhambri not only struggled to keep the balls in play but also over hit a few, thereby helping his opponent win some free points.
Bhambri managed to earn only 10 points in the first five games, none of which he could not add to his score, thereby going dramatically down by 0-5 and losing the contest.
Wild card entrant Sanam Singh also lost out to the top seed James Duckworth of Australia, 6-2, 6-1.