US Open Qualifiers: Yuki advances, Ramanathan, Nagal out

Yuki Bhambri advanced to the men’s singles second round after a hard-fought win over Moldovian Radu Albot in the US Open qualifiers in New York.

However, India’s highest-ranked men’s singles player, Ramkumar Ramanathan, and Sumit Nagal made early exits after losing their respective qualifying matches in straight sets.

While world number 241 Ramanathan went down to American teen Bruno Kuzuhara 3-6, 5-7 in one hour and 28 minutes, Nagal lost to Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-7, 4-6.

Yuki, who is ranked world number 552, downed a higher-ranked Albot (107) 7-6(4), 6-4 in a match that lasted one hour and 34 minutes.

While Yuki got off to a slow start in the first set, the Indian bounced back and stretched the opening set to a tie-breaker, in which he triumphed.

With a far better breakpoint conversions in the second set coupled with a decent net play, Yuki pocketed the second set to enter the next round.

The 30-year-old will take on Belgium’s Zizou Bergs in the second qualifying round of the Grand Slam event on Thursday.

Yuki, who spent the most of last three years nursing knee injuries and recovering from multiple operations, played his first Grand Slam qualifier earlier this year at the Australian Open, where he lost in the second round of qualifiers.

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