Yuki Bhambri earned himself a Grand Slam debut by securing a wild card entry into Australian Open men's doubles main draw as he won the play-off tournament with Kiwi partner Michael Venus even as he lost the chance to compete in the singles.
In the singles, second seed Yuki squandered many favourable positions to lose 6-7(6), 4-6 to third seeded Chinese Di Wu in one hour and 29 minutes in the semi-finals of the play-off tournament at the Luohu Tennis Club, on Saturday.
However, later in the day he combined with Venus to beat fourth seed Chinese Combo of Mao-Xin Gong and Zhe Li 7-6(3), 1-6, 10-5 to win the doubles event and earn the wild card.
Yuki has been in good form in recent times. He won a Challenger event in Traralgon, Australia and a Futures title in New Delhi before coming into this tournament.
In the singles, second seed Yuki created enough chances for himself but failed to cash in on those.
After trading breaks early, the first set was back on serve by the eighth game. Yuki broke Wu at love in the ninth but failed to serve out the set as he was broken at love.
Both the players continued to struggle with their serve in the tie-breaker as well. It was Yuki who had two set points when he was up 6-4 but he squandered both and went on to lose the set.
The second set was on serve till the sixth game. Facing three break chances, Yuki saved two but could not prevent Wu from converting third to trail 3-4.
Wu consolidated the lead to 5-3 in the next game and served out the set in the 10th game.
Image: Yuki Bhambri
Photograph: Lucas Dawson/Getty Images