Yuki Bhambri advances to second round of Chennai Open
India's Yuki Bhambri defeated fellow countryman and local hero Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the 2017 Aircel Chennai Open. Bhambri was making a comeback after spending six months off the court with a tennis elbow injury. Ranked 474th in the world, Yuki will now take on world number 47 Benoit Paire of France in the second round.
Chennai Open is the only ATP tournament held in India. Being played since 1996, the annual event has built a legacy for being a "springboard of champions". Stan Wawrinka is the defending champion and won the ATP 250 event the most number of times - 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016. 2017 edition of the tournament would be played from 2-8 January at Chennai's SDAT stadium.
As a warm up to the Australian Open, the season's first Grand Slam, Chennai Open is played on the open hard courts. The prize money is $450,000.
World No.6 and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic leads the draw as top seed and considered favorite to win the tournament. The Croat previously won the event in 2009 and 2010. He is followed by second seed Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, who was a 2013 Chennai Open finalist. Another Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas is seeded third and Slovakian Martin Klizan is the fourth seed.
On the singles front, Saketh Myneni, Ramkumar Ramanathan, and qualifier Yuki Bhambri will represent the Indian side. Myneni is set to face Russian Mikhail Youzhny, while Ram and Yuki go against each other, in the first round. Doubles event will see champion Leander Paes paired with Brazil's Andre Sa, apart from Indian pairs Rohan Bopanna-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, Divij Sharan-Purav Raja, Myneni-Ram, and Sriram Balaji-Vishnu Vardhan.
The 2017 tennis season kicked off with three ATP 250 tournaments underway across the globe including our very own Chennai Open, the other two being played in Brisbane and Qatar. Day 1 results- Steve Darcis defeated Nikola Mektic 6-2,6-3; Dudi Sela beat Damir Dzhumhur 6-2,6-3; Daniil Medvedev beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3,6-3; Jozef Kovalik beat Gastao Elias 6-7,6-4,6-2; Hyeon Chung beat Borna Coric 6-3,7-5.
Wild card entrant Saketh Myneni lost to world number 10 Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-3 to crash out of the Chennai Open in the very first round.