Indian Tennis

Chennai Open: Sluggish Bhambri digs deep to beat Japan’s Uchiyama, enters semis

Bhambri beat the sixth seed 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 and will now face Korea's Duckhee Lee for a spot in the final

India’s Yuki Bhambri booked a spot in the semi-final of the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis tournament with a come-from-behind win over Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Delhi player, allowed his rival to bounce back when in sight of the first set, before regrouping to take the next two on a hot afternoon to post a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 win.

Bhambri failed to convert the chances he had and allowed the sixth-seeded Uchiyama to take the first set. He raised his game in the second with some fluent shots and broke twice to run away to a 5-1 lead before wrapping up set in 28 minutes.

The Indian number one came up with some impressive winners in the decider as the Japanese seemed to wilt and closed out the match with a forehand volley winner. Bhambri will next meet Korea’s Duckhee Lee, the third-seed, in the semifinal.

Lee posted a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over unseeded Frenchman Antoine Escoffier, who had beaten India’s Sumit Nagal in the opening round.

Top-seed Jordan Thompson had things easy as he sailed into the last four when his rival Danilo Petrovic of Serbia retired while trailing 4-6, 0-3.

The Australian will meet Pedro Martinez of Spain, who knocked out third-seeded Mohammed Safwat of Egypt 7-5, 6-2, for a place in the final.

In the doubles, Cem Ilkel of Turkey and Petrovic shocked the top-seeded Ratiwatana duo in a thrilling three-set encounter.

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