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Yuki Bhambri bags a double

Special Correspondent

Poojashree- Kolesnichenko pair emerges champion

— Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Yuki Bhambri.

NEW DELHI: Yuki Bhambri played his best in the final to be crowned the champion in the Asia-Oceania ITF junior (U-18) tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

The 15-year-old Yuki was a class act against the talented Chinese player, Di Wu, and cruised home to a 6-3, 6-1 triumph in just under an hour, to emerge the best in the boys’ section.

Bright start

Getting off to a bright start as he broke the 16-year-old Chinese in the first game, the seventh-seeded Yuki did not relax his grip over the match despite dropping serve in the third game of the second set.

Generally sticking to his top-spin drives, Yuki excelled with moments of superb strokeplay that caught his opponent stranded after tough rallies.

He served well throughout and was quick to the ball most of the time.

The Chinese was not allowed to play his best by the crafty Yuki, who came up with a lovely drop shot on set point in the first set.

Into the second set, Yuki broke the Chinese in the second game and played his best in the fourth after he had himself dropped serve.

A backhand passing shot, hit on the rise, after the Chinese had double faulted twice, was the shot of the day.

“This was one of the best matches I have played. I knew that he was a good player and was ready. This title gives me a lot of confidence. It is definitely big to be able to call yourself the best junior in Asia and Oceania,” said Yuki, who went on to add the doubles title.

With 180 ITF juniors points for singles and 120 points for doubles, the 95th ranked Yuki would be jumping into the top-40 when the combined rankings are announced next.

“I have two more junior tournaments in the U.S. and I hope to push my ranking further. The idea is to be well prepared for the Australian Open,” said Yuki.

There was further good news for India as Poojashree Venkatesh won the doubles title with Aleksandra Kolesnichenko of Uzbekistan.

It was creditable of the host to have won three of the four titles in a competitive field.

The results (finals):

Boys singles: Yuki Bhambri bt Di Wu (Chn) 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles: Yuki & Liang-Chi Huang (Tpe) bt Hiroki Morya (Jpn) & Bernard Tomic (Aus) 7-5, 6-2.

Girls singles: Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (Tha) bt Yang Zi-Jun Jun (Hkg) 6-1, 6-1.

Doubles: Poojashree Venkatesh & Aleksandra Kolesnichenko (Uzb) bt Sophia Mulsap & Noppawan Lertcheewakarn (Tha) 6-2, 6-4.

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