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Bhupathi-Yuki pair enter Delhi Open semifinals

Bhupathi-Yuki pair enter Delhi Open semifinals
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Mahesh Bhupathi and Yuki Bhambri, playing for the first time together as a team, saw off initial resistance from Yannick Mertens and Stephane Robert to reach the men’s doubles semifinals of the Delhi Open, here on Thursday.

The Indians beat the Belgian-French combination 7-5 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the USD 50,000 hard court tournament at the DLTA complex.

In the singles, Prajnesh Gunenswaran walked into the quarterfinals after his Chinese opponent Yan Bai pulled out due to an upset stomach. He will next face second seed Kimmer Coppejans. Ankita Raina entered the women’s semifinals after defeating Russia’s Anna Morgina.

Bhupathi was broken in the third game when he double-faulted on the deciding deuce point but the Indians broke back immediately when Robert came out to serve in the next game.

Bhupathi hit a forehand winner to make it 30-30 and on next point, Robert hit a forehand out and double-faulted on the deciding point.

They again broke the Frenchman when Yuki smashed a forehand winner to earn a breakpoint and that was converted with another forehand error from Robert.

Yuki was now serving for the set but was broken. The Indians though broke Robert for the third time in the set to seal it in the 12th game. Again it was Yuki, who smashed past Mertens for a winner to earn the set point.

It was a matter of time that Yuki and Bhupathi closed the contest in their favour and the latter did it in style, firing an ace on first match point. “It’s surprising to see that Mahesh is still so sharp. He was picking up the volleys with ease and was serving well. I was nervous yesterday and did not want to disappoint him,” Yuki said after the match.

Yuki and Bhupathi are now up against Jimmy Wang and Ze Zhang, who ousted Indian wild card team of Mohit Mayur Prakash and Vinayak Sharma Kaza 6-1 6-4.

Meanwhile, defending champions Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh battled past Vijay Sundar Prashanth and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 7-6 (4) 6-4 in their quarterfinals.

They will now face top seeds Divij Sharan Flavio Cipolla, who got a walkover from the Belgian team of Joris de Loore and Kimmer Coppejans, who also encountered a stomach problem.

In the women’s singles, Ankita Raina breezed into the women’s singles semifinals of the Delhi Open with a clinical straight sets victory over Anna Morgina, here on Thursday.

Coming out with a strategy to pin the Russian to the baseline, Ankita raced to a 6-2 6-0 win in just 58 minutes in the quarterfinals of the USD 25000 ITF event. The Russian proved no match to India’s number one singles player, thanks to her endless errors. 

Ankita next faces Uzbekistan’s Sabina Sharipova.
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