Yuki flawless in victory over fourth-seeded Japanese

April 22nd, 2009 - 7:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) Indian wildcard Yuki Bhambri beat Japanese Hiroki Moriya for the third successive time in two years, outclassing the fourth-seed 6-2, 6-2, to enter the quarter-finals of the $15,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) men’s Futures at the DLTA complex here Wednesday.
The junior Australian Open champion had beaten Moriya at the 2007 Asia-Oceania championship and in the prestigious Osaka Mayor Cup final last year.

The 16-year-old Indian played near flawless tennis, serving sharp, hitting his forehand fluently and moving fluidly on court. With the Delhi youngster in such form there was hardly anything that the Japanese could have done.

To make matters worse, Moriya committed quite a few unforced errors to lose his serve in the third and fifth games of the first set. He could have lost the set in the seventh game itself but for his saving three set-points to hold serve. Yuki then served out the set to love.

Things didn’t get any better for Moriya in the second set as he dropped serve twice more, in the third and the fifth game, to close the match in 57 minutes.

Yuki, fresh from his stint at Florida with the Nick Bollettieri Academy, however, said he didn’t expect the win to be so easy.

“I was expecting a tough fight. Moriya is someone who is a rhythm player, slugging it out from the baseline. But I did not allow him to settle,” said Yuki, who rushed after the match to take his Class X exam from the open school.

“I have been serving well and that takes a lot of pressure off me. Now I don’t get flustered even if I am a couple of points down as I know I can always bank on my serve. I have also tried to develop my forehand as a weapon. I am consciously going for my shots as on a hard court you cannot go for long rallies.”

Yuki next plays eighth-seeded Rohan Gajjar, who rallied to beat national champion Ranjeeth Virali-Murugesan 4-6,6-3,6-2 in another pre-quarter-final clash.

“I have a good chance in the tournament. I expect a tough match tomorrow against Rohan. With the second seed out, the draw is open. If I can pull it off against Rohan, then I can have a shot at the title,” Yuki said.

In another pre-quarter-final match, Vishnu Vardhan showed the door to Vivek Shokeen with a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Meanwhile, it was curtains for Purav Raja, who went down 2-6, 4-6, to American Adam El Mithdawy and, Vijay Kannan, who stretched seventh seed Sean Thornley of England to three sets before losing 3-6, 6-3, 4-6.

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