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Miami Open: Yuki Bhambri cruises ahead while Ramkumar Ramanathan stumbles in the qualifiers

Miami Open: Yuki Bhambri cruises ahead while Ramkumar Ramanathan stumbles in the qualifiers
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By

Anjali Banerjee

Published: 20 March 2018 5:23 AM GMT
Mixed fortunes for Indian tennis at Crandon Park, Florida in the Opening qualifying round of the Miami Open, a Masters 1000 event. India's second ranked RamKumar Ramananthan faced a tough first round loss to a lower ranked World No 176 Michael Mmoh while India's top-ranked Yuki Bhambri cruised into the second round of the qualifiers with an easy win over the Argentine Renzo Olivo. In an hour and 56 minutes, The American Michael Mmoh got the better of the Indian to register a 7-6 6-4 and deny Ramkumar a place in the second round of the Qualifiers. It was a second meeting of the two where Ramkumar had defeated Mmoh in the Indian wells qualifying round 1. This time though, the American succeeded in avenging the loss.
World No. 107 Yuki Bhambri is riding a wave In the ongoing Miami Open the Indian was very close in the first set but fell a little short in the Tiebreak where Mmoh took advantage to close it out 7-6(4). From there on it was difficult for Ramkumar to come to the fore. Out of the 7 chances to break Mmoh, Ramkumar converted only one which cost him dear. Thundering down 7 aces in the match was not enough as he double faulted 5 times and won only 45% of total points. The 43% of second serve as against 63% for the American was what took away the match from the Chennai star. Also read: Yuki Bhambri: The wait for success continues
The 23-year-old, Ramkumar Ramanathan has not really been able to break the jinx from the start of this season. Stumbling in the qualifiers in Melbourne, then in New York, Acapulco, Indian Wells and now In Miami, Ramkumar's woes continue. Except for the Delray Beach Open, an ATP 250 event where he made it to the main draw and eventually faltered in the opening round, there have not been any significant strides from India's second best. In contrast, World No. 107 Yuki Bhambri is riding a wave. A flawless 6-4 6-1 win over Argentina's Renzo Olivo in the first qualifying round in Miami sets up the tone for the top ranked Indian at Crandon Park. With a 74% first serve points won and a 65% second serves, Bhambri converted 3 out of the 6 break points to easily edge past the Argentine. The second set saw Bhambri cruising effortlessly to the finish line. Renzo's 6 double faults as compared to 4 from Bhambri were instrumental in the win for the Indian. 9th seed Bhambri will now take on Sweden's and 19th seed Elias Ymer in the final qualifying round of the Miami Open. If he gets past the second hurdle, this will be Bhambri's second appearance at a Masters 1000 Main draw.
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Ankita Raina : Meet the new poster-girl of Indian tennis It has been a fairly good season for the Delhi star so far. Making it to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells, 25 -year-old Bhambri registered the biggest achievement of his career and he certainly looks all poised to go the distance at the Miami Masters too. The Junior Australian Open champ finished runner-up in the inaugural Chennai Challenger last month. He also made it to the Main draw of the Australian Open in Melbourne eventually falling in the first round to Marcos Baghdatis. Bhambri had begun the season with a semi final finish at the Tata Open Maharashtra but gradually clawed back to register some brave victories over the last few weeks. Taking out some big names like Lucas Pouille and Nicolas Mahut in California at Indian Wells, Bhambri proved he is made for the big stages. If he keeps that Forehand working well and a little more on his serves, we can hope to see our star as a regular face on the ATP World tour and also maybe watch him lift his first ATP title too.
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