Indian Tennis

Indian Wells: Yuki Bhambri beats Mahut, sets up second-round clash with 9th seed Pouille

The Indian qualifier put in a gritty performance to beat the French world No 101 7-5, 6-3 and notch his first ATP Masters 1000 win.

India’s top-ranked singles player Yuki Bhambri notched his first win in an ATP Masters 1000 tournament beating Nicholas Mahut in the opening round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Friday.

The qualifier beat the French world No 101 7-5, 6-3 in a gritty match that lasted hour and 41 minutes. He was staring at a deficit in both sets being 1-4 and 1-3 in the first and second sets respectively, before turning it around to get a straight sets win.

While his own serve was broken three times, he saved five breakpoints and converted five of 11 chances he got. He was also stronger on first serve and served up three aces.

After a strong performance in only his second Masters main draw appearance, the challenge gets tougher as Bhambri will meet ninth seed Lucas Pouille in the second round.

He had earlier beaten fellow-Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan in the final round of qualifying to reach his second Masters after Miami in 2009.

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