Chennai: Home sensation and wild card entrant Yuki Bhambri on Tuesday sprung a surprise by upsetting higher-rated Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain to enter the second round even as compatriot Somdev Devvarman made a shocking first round exit at the ATP Chennai Open, here.
Yuki, ranked 195 in the world, took 76 minutes to stun 64th ranked Busta 6-4 6-3 in the opening round to set up a clash against third seed Fablo Fognini of Italy in the pre-quarter-finals. Yuki, in all probability, will make the quarterfinals without taking the court as his next opponent, Fogini, who was partnering Indian ace Leander Pace, has pulled out from the men's doubles event due to a strain in his left leg.
A statement from the orgainsers read that Fogini has withdrawn from the doubles event due to a injury and he was being monitored by the doctors. But it has been learnt that Fogini would take a call on his participation in the singles event by tomorrow evening.
However, it was turned out to be a nightmarish outing for Somdev as he was shown the door in the opening round by qualifier Ramanathan Ramkumar in a marathon 147-minute duel. Somdev squandered a set lead to go down 4-6 6-3 6-3 against the less-fancied Ramkumar ranked 526 in the ATP circuit.
Somdev, who is the main man in the Indian Players Association, was full of praise for Ramkumar and said that the youngster deserves the win. "Hope Ramkumar contuinues to work and do the right things and not get carried away as he has a bright future. He is a fantastic player. He played fabulous tennis and you got to give him credit. He played some high risk shots and succeeded," he said.
Talking about the match, Somdev said: "It is never easy. It was disappointing to lose. I need to go back to the drawing board and start thinking about the next tournament." Ramkumar, on the other hand, said he was so nervous that he could not serve well at the start.
"Som (Somdev) is a great player. It is good to win today. Coming into the match, I wanted to play to my strengths. He was serving slow and I was attacking lot of points. Went with the volley and then couple of shots and all worked very well," he said.
"In the first set, Som was very clever making me play every ball but it was tough also. I was not well today. I stretched a lot and dyhdrated. I believe in myself and I decided to give it all and it worked very well. I need to improve my back hand swing and serve better in the next round."
In the pre-quarter-final, Ramkumar will play sixth seed Marcel Granollers of Spain. In a day of upsets, Russian qualifier Alexander Kudryavtsev sent packing eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in a long 107-minute tussle.