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Thompson, Bhambri start with easy wins

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Chennai: Top-seed Jordan Thompson of Australia and second-seed Yuki Bhambri of India advanced with straight set wins today in the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis tournament here.

While Thompson beat Mohamed Maamoun of Egypt 6-4, 6-2, Bhambri got past Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain 6-1, 7-6.

Bhambri blew away the Spaniard's challenge in the first set, winning it 6-1 in quick time.

He broke thrice and dominated the proceedings with strong serves and punishing ground strokes.

In the second set the Spaniard recovered well and played with much more intensity. Both players traded a break before the set moved to the tiebreak which Bhambri won 7-3.

In the other match, Thompson was broken twice but he broke back thrice to take the first set 6-4.

In the second set also, he broke Karim thrice to win it 6-2.

In a surprise result, local lad Abhinav Sanjeev Shanmugam, a qualifier, moved into the second round when Ivan Nedelko of Russia retired due to stomach cramps.

Martinez Pedro of Spain beat local lad Prajnesh Gunneswaran, the eighth seed 6-1, 6-4.

Sharapova crashes out in Qatar Open 1st round
Doha:
Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova suffered a shock defeat in the first round of the Qatar Open on Monday, dumped out in three sets by outsider Monica Niculescu.

The Romanian, ranked number 92 in the world, 51 places behind the Russian, won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

In a match lasting more than two and a half hours, Sharapova hit 52 unforced errors as opposed to just 17 from Niculescu.

In blustery conditions, Sharapova also struggled to get to grips with the 30-year-old Niculescu's distinctive style, which relies heavily on a sliced forehand.

The former world number one, twice a winner in Doha, had been given a wildcard into the draw and was one the tournament's major attractions. "I did a good job of winning the longer rallies, even though that's not really what I wanted to get myself into," said Sharapova afterwards.

"So, physically I felt good. I just got pretty passive in the end and starting making too many errors."

It was the 30-year-old's first appearance in Doha since 2013 and her first match since losing to Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Australian Open last month.

Sharapova returned to tennis last April after completing a 15-month ban for failing a drug test. A jubilant Niculescu described it afterwards as "a very good win" as well as "a tough match".
 

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