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Rediff.com  » Sports » Delhi Open: Bhupathi wins first title in 3 years!

Delhi Open: Bhupathi wins first title in 3 years!

February 20, 2016 20:46 IST

Bhupathi is 41 but he still has a stinging serve and his ground-strokes are getting better

Mahesh Bhupathi

IMAGE: India’s Mahesh Bhupathi in action. Photograph: PTI

Mahesh Bhupathi, who is making a comeback to competitive tennis after an injury lay-off, won his first title in three years as he combined with Yuki

Bhambri to clinch the Delhi Open while Saketh Myneni reached the singles final, in New Delhi, on Saturday.

Playing high quality tennis, Bhupathi and Bhambri won 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 against defending champions Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh in the final that was a cut above the usual Challenger level matches.

Myneni could not win the doubles title but earlier in the day he was all class, winning his singles semi-final 6-3, 6-2 against second seed Belgian Kimmer Coppejans.

He now has a chance to win his second Challenger level singles title, having won the first in October 2014 in Indore.

Bhupathi, who has hardly played in the last two years and got busy in conducting  International Premier Tennis League apart from nursing a knee injury, last won a title in March 2013, when he pocketed the Dubai ATP event with Michael Llodra.

Myneni had served superbly in his morning match but it was his serve that Bhupathi and Bhambri broke twice -- fifth and ninth -- to take the first set. Both times Myneni double faulted on breakpoints.

Bhupathi is 41 but he still has a stinging serve and his ground-strokes are getting better with each match. Sanam was exceptional of all the four players on the court when it came to returns. He hit winners from very difficult angles, often leaving Bhupathi and Bhambri just watch the ball pass them.

All four players lost serve at the start of the second set and it was 3-3 after trading breaks. When Bhupathi came out to serve the seventh game, Yuki made two volley errors and that cost them the game and Myneni served out the set in the 10th.

Bhupathi and Bhambri raced to a 8-2 lead in the Super-tie-breaker, taking the match away from the defending champions.

Bhupathi said he ‘enjoyed’ playing with Yuki while the young Indian said it was a privilege for him to play alongside Bhupathi.

Earlier, Myneni demolished the challenge of Coppejans with remarkable ease. Serving better and better as the match progressed, 166th ranked Myneni made short work of his Belgian opponent in under an hour at the DLTA complex.

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