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Tennis round-up: Yuki knocked out in first round on comeback

Last updated on: October 17, 2018 23:02 IST

Yuki Bhambri

IMAGE: Yuki Bhambri returned from knee injury. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images for LTA

Yuki Bhambri's comeback to the ATP circuit after recovering from a knee injury didn't go well as he suffered a first-round defeat at the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium.

Playing his first match since the US Open in August, Yuki lost 6-7 (6), 7-5, 1-6 to Italian Salvatore Caruso in the Euro 686,080 hard court tournament.

At one stage Yuki was a break up, serving for the opening set but lost his serve and eventually the set. After drawing parity, Yuki twice lost his serve to fall behind 0-3 in the decisive set and never recovered.


India's top singles player, the 26-year-old Bhambri's progress has been hampered by fitness issues, the major problem being his knees.

He broke into the top-100 in October 2015 but then missed out half of the 2016 season due to injury.

He got back in good shape and reclaimed his place in top-100 in April this year, but injuries once again pulled him back.

Meanwhile, Divij Sharan and his Kiwi partner Artem Sitak ousted Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyyes-Varela 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 10 minutes to move to the doubles quarter-finals.

Pliskova seals WTA finals spot despite defeat in Moscow

Former World No 1 Karolina Pliskova was stunned 6-1, 6-2 by qualifier Vera Zvonareva in the Kremlin Cup second round on Wednesday, but defeat came with a silver lining for the Czech who secured qualification for the WTA Finals.

Pliskova's loss meant Elina Svitolina booked her place in next week's season-ending tournament in Singapore. However, fellow contender Kiki Bertens lost in three sets to Aliaksandra Sasnovich to give Pliskova the eighth and final spot.

"I'm delighted to be appearing at the WTA Finals for the third time," World No 5 Pliskova said.

"I have such great memories from playing in Singapore in 2016 and 2017, and I can't wait to close out the year competing against the other elite players of 2018."

Russian Zvonareva raced into a 4-0 lead in the opening set and the 34-year-old continued her dominance in the second set to seal her first win over a top-10 player since 2011. She next faces fifth seed Anastasija Sevastova.

Sasnovich overcame a mid-match lapse to dump out fourth seed Bertens 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and the Dutchwoman is now the first alternate for the WTA finals.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, another player who will feature in Singapore, made a slew of errors in her 6-3, 6-2 defeat by Tunisia's Ons Jabeur. World number 101 Jabeur next meets Anett Kontaveit who beat France's Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 7-6(3).

Prajnesh moves to quarter-finals of Ningbo Challenger in China

Prajnesh Gunneswaran, the lone Indian surviving in the singles main draw, quelled a late challenge from Zhe Li to book a quarter-final berth at the Ningbo Challenger on Wednesday.

After a sound start, the Chennai southpaw struggled to keep focus but regrouped for 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (0) win in the second round against his Chinese opponent.

"I played a good first set but started badly in the second. I was not focussed. The third set was very close. I had the break but was unlucky to lose that game at 5-4. There was net chord on one point and my string broke on another, so I was 0-30. But I played a very good tie break. I was aggressive and there were no errors," Prajnesh told PTI, reflecting on the match.

Prajnesh is the only Indian left in the singles main draw. His compatriots Ramkumar Ramanathan, Sumit Nagal and Saketh Myneni had all exited in the first round.

The 28-year-old, who had won Kunming Open in Anning in April, next faces Yunseong Chung, who knocked out Ramkumar in the opening round.

Ramkumar and Nagal crashed out of the men's doubles too following their first round defeat but the pair of Myneni and N Sriram Balaji advanced to the quarterfinals.

Balaji and Myneni outplayed Hiroki Moriya and Rubin Statham 6-0 6-3 in the first round.

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