Yuki Bhambri advanced to the second round of the Australian Open Qualifiers with a straight sets win over seventh seed Stefan Kozlov even as his fellow Davis Cupper Saketh Myneni suffered a tame defeat, here on Wednesday.
The 534th ranked Yuki, who missed out on half the season in 2016 due to a tennis elbow injury, conjured up a 6-1, 6-4 win against the American opponent, ranked as high as 116.
However, it was curtains for Myneni, who bowed out with a surprise 0-6, 2-6 defeat against Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk, ranked 189, four places above the Indian.
Yuki was solid not only from baseline but approached the net consistently to finish the points early and was rewarded for the strategy, which he had successfully employed against compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan in the Chennai Open as well.
Yuki won 20 out of the 28 net points in the match in which he broke his rival six times and lost his serve twice. He next faces Serbian Pedja Krstin, who came from behind to beat Czech Republic’s Zdenek Konar 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in his opening round.
Asked about his newly-adopted strategy of approaching the net more often, Yuki said, “It just depends on situation. It’s a good start for me. It was a tough first round and I am happy to be able to play solid and win this one. I am enjoying playing and it’s most important that I can compete.”
About his next opponent, Yuki said, “Every match is tough and tomorrow (Thursday) is no different. I will give my all tomorrow (Thursday).”
Yuki needs to win two more matches to qualify for the main draw.
Later Myneni, revealed that he encountered a foot problem and that’s why could not compete well against his opponent. “I am dealing with a foot issue. I could not really move or push. I tried to compete but was nowhere to make it a match,” Myneni said.