Yuki Wins, Prajnesh loses in 1st Round of Tata Open Maharashtra

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Pune: On the first day of main draw action of Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune there were two Indians in action and Yuki was making the much anticipated return to tennis court on home soil after a stop start season affected by injuries last couple of years. Yuki Bhambri who is currently ranked ATP862 got an entry into the main draw via PR and was the only Indian who made it to the main draw without a wild card. In a closely contested match that went on for more than three hours and tested the acumen & stamina of both the players it was the Indian Yuki Bhambri who scored a comeback victory from behind after losing the first set in a close tie breaker.
After losing the hard-fought first set, the former junior world number one, who made a comeback into the international circuit recently after a two-year break due to injury, started the second with 2-0 lead and looked in good touch. He didn’t let the momentum shift away before bagging the set easily and leveling the scores.
“Letting the first game slip was a bit yo yo. Sat down, got back but because it is so close and felt so comfortable that gave me confidence to keep attacking which helped me in the second set in the end,” Bhambri said after the match.
 In the third set Yuki Serve was broken in the third game but he came back in the match breaking Kovalik in the very next game and finally won the set 7-5. The score line for match read 7-6(12-10), 6-2, 7-5. The Indian tennis star won 73% of the first service points while saving 89% of break points. The stats which were considerably better than the opponent.
Yuki who has had slightly more number of unforced errors that what he would have liked and will need to control that to go deeper in the draw, who is slated to meet the top seed Aslan Karatsev from Russia in Quarterfinals.
The last match of the day was between former India Number one Prajnesh Gunneswaran who was handed a wild card to the main draw and Daniel Altmaier the fifth seed of the tournament who recently won an ATP Challenger tournament in November 2021 at Mexico. It was expected to be a tough encounter for the Indian who is now ranked as low as 228 on the ATP circuit against the ATP82 ranked German. Prajnesh started the match with a bang breaking the serve of his opponent in the very first game and was serving for the set at 5-4 (40-30) but lost the momentum from there. 

The first set went on a tie breaker with no player ready to give up Prajnesh got into an early lead of 3-0 in the tie breaker but it was fiery aces of Altmaier which had no answers from the Indian. Eventually the Tie breaker was won by the German in an hour 7-6 (7-5). Indian fans would have expected a similar fight back as was done in the earlier match by Yuki but the score line went on the other side 6-2 as Prajnesh was broken in the very first serve and then never really came back in the match losing the set. The match that went on for hundred minutes was won by the German and end of road for Prajnesh who has now lost four of the last five tournaments he has played in the opening round itself.
Day two action was slightly disappointing as both Ramkumar Ramanathan and Arjun Kadhe lost their respective 1st round matches in a tightly fought 3 round matches.


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