Bhambri chasse le Français
Yuki Bhambri, the lone Indian in the singles draw and currently 110th in the world, is into the third round of his maiden Indian Wells Masters. Bhambri had beaten countryman R. Ramanathan in the qualifiers to make it to the main draw. He then beat Nicolas Mahut in the first round and ninth seed Lucas Pouille in the second round to setup a match against Sam Querry.
Bhambri had played Pouille twice before with a victory apiece. Therefore, due to the familiarity of having played against his opponent earlier, Pouille’s rank or form neither intimidated Bhambri nor deterred him from his game plan. This would easily qualify as his most significant career win so far. His previous best being against Gael Monfils in the second round of the Citi Open 2017 where he went on to reach the quarter-finals.
Bhambri has always been a great player but has lacked consistency. He is a former Junior World No. 1 and won the Junior Australian Open in 2009, which got him a wild card to the Miami Masters the same year. However, he was unable to use his form and visibility to propel himself to the next level. But it is never too late to surge. The current World No. 1 is almost 37.
Roger Federer has definitely found the fountain of youth. The defending champion, is comfortably into the fourth round of the tournament. To be able to retain his No. 1 ranking, Federer needs to reach the semi-finals. Federer has won this tournament five times (tied with Novak Djokovic) and is looking to win a record sixth title. Federer is 14-0 this year having won the Australian Open and the Rotterdam Open already. The only upside to Federer forfeiting the top spot to Rafa Nadal is that it would compel Federer to genuinely consider playing the clay season, where Nadal has a whopping 4680 points to defend. By playing the clay season, Federer might actually allow himself a chance to regain the No. 1 ranking before Wimbledon. And we will never know if Federer would ever win a second French Open if he continues to abstain from participating.
Other noteworthy matches/results
H Chung has beaten Tomas Berdych and would want to continue his amazing run which started at the Australian Open this year.
Fernando Verdasco beat third seed Grigor Dimitrov before losing to Taylor Fritz. Verdasco was coming off a runner-up finish at the Rio Open.
Juan Martin DelPotro is into the third round and will play David Ferrer next. These two put up an amazing show at the Mexican Open earlier this month.
Taro Daniel beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic in the second round.
Picture credit: Deccan Chronicle