One was a wild card. The other was a qualifier.
It was just another opening round match at the 2011 Chennai Open. And not much was expected from the match-up per se. The interest, if any, was purely sentimental (read patriotic).
However, Yuki Bhambri failed to match up to the expectations of the handful of fans who were there at the Nungambakkam Stadium to support him, falling rather tamely to Alexandre Kudryavtsev 2-6, 1-6 on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old had dual fortune. And he couldn't utilise it either -- he failed to make the most of the wildcard awarded to him by the authorities and could not take advantage of the fact that he was playing a qualifier.
In an error-strewn match it was the Russian's powerful backhand that decided the chunk of points. The fact that Yuki's serve failed him completely in the match (he was broken six times) helped Kudryavtsev further.
Yuki was broken thrice in succession in the opening set -- in the third, fifth and seventh games. And though he managed to get a break back in the fifth, it was never going to be enough.
The second set had worse in store for the Indian teenager.
A double fault while down a break point in the third game of the second set proved to be the final nail in the coffin, giving the Russian a 2-1 lead. He conveniently reeled off the next four games to win his fourth match (three in qualifiers) on the trot.
In the final analysis, it was an opportunity missed for a youngster who is being touted as a future prospect for India.