Australian Open 2022 Qualifiers: Yuki Bhambri returns to big stage in style, moves to second round

Comeback-man Bhambri impressed with his match sharpness and attacking net play as he progressed to the second round of Australian Open Qualifiers with a straight set win over Joao Domingues

Press Trust of India January 11, 2022 14:22:20 IST
Australian Open 2022 Qualifiers: Yuki Bhambri returns to big stage in style, moves to second round

File image of Yuki Bhambri. AFP

Melbourne: Comeback-man Yuki Bhambri impressed with his match sharpness and attacking net play as the Indian progressed to the second round of Australian Open qualifiers with a comfortable straight set win over Joao Domingues, here on Tuesday.

Bhambri, who returned to the Grand Slam stage after 2018 US Open due to knee injury, beat his 248th ranked Portuguese rival 6-4 6-2 in just 68 minutes.

The 29-year-old Indian's serve looked decent and he played smartly as he charged the net to keep the points short.

He struggled to rein in his unforced errors in the beginning but earned his first breakpoint in the third game with a forehand winner after a long rally. Domigues served a double fault to hand the Indian first break of the match.

Bhambri served the next game at love with an ace to open up a 3-1 lead as Domingues also tried to charge to the net but Bhambri's powerful strokes pushed him back.

Bhambri fought off two break points on his serve in the sixth game. At deuce he pulled off a perfectly placed backhand slice and then dispatched up a half-volley for a 4-2 lead.

After getting one more break on account of his rival's unforced errors, Bhambri came out serving for the set but dropped the serve when his miscued overhead smash went out.

He wasn't in the position to play that shot but went for it, anticipating that lob would land in, behind him near the alley.

The Indian claimed the set when he served again.

In the second set too, it was Bhambri who got the first break as he led 4-2. He then served out the match without any fuss.

Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina will also play their first rounds later in the day.

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