Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bhambri wins epic thriller




Bhambri wins epic thriller

Bhambri wins epic thriller

Christopher Rungkat plays a return against Yuki Bhambri at the National Training Centre yesterday. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

Undaunted by a mid-match crisis, India’s Yuki Bhambri trumped the never-say-die attitude of Indonesia’s Christopher Rungkat in three pulsating sets stretching to three hours on his way to booking a quarterfinals place in the US$15,000 ITF Men’s Futures tennis tournament at the National Training Centre yesterday.

The fifth seeded Bhambri ran into unexpected second set turbulence after the Indonesian engineered a breath-taking turnaround. The decisive third set was tantalisingly poised until Bhambri played a couple of pressure points with great precision to run out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 winner in what was easily the longest encounter in the last week-and-a-half of action in Phnom Penh.

The contest was one of thrust and parry, full of merited rallies, earned points and some amazing court coverage by two sets of untiring legs.

The twists and turns of the match began in the third game of the second set when Bhambri lost his serve after deuce was called half a dozen times. The Indian teenager banged the ball in disgust attracting a code violation warning from the chair.

But Bhambri was in no mood to fall prey to his emotions, and the next few games were among the most combative seen in this event so far. Each was moving the other edgewise with purpose, both were slicing with verve and picking up low volleys with timely advances.

It was quite typical that a masterful backhand pass from Rungkat was answered in the next point by a delicate topspun back hand lob by Bhambri.

The decisive break for the 18-year-old Indian came in the seventh game of the third set. In keeping with his fighting instincts, Rungkat had three break points in later games to level the scores, but Bhambri served his way out of trouble to ensure a place in the last eight.

Reputations and rankings took a huge tumble yesterday, as China’s 853 ranked Gao Peng pulled off the biggest upset of the week by knocking out second seeded Vishnu Vardhan of India in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. Even as the first event runner-up was struggling against the Chinese giant killer on Court 1, India’s Vijay Sundar Prashant was enhancing his own stature by packing off third seeded Nikolaus Moser of Austria 6-4, 6-2 on Court 3.

Earlier yesterday, another tardy start followed by tough recovery saw top-seeded Karan Rastogi of India tame Japan’s ebullient Kento Takeuchi 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

The left handed 24-year-old from Kyoto was all over the 332nd ranked Rastogi, who dropped his first service game and never quite recovered to lose the first set in a hurry. But in the next two sets, the tournament favourite ensured he was the master of his own destiny.

Another Japanese left hander to impress was Arata Onozawa, who got the measure of India’s Vijayant Malik 6-4, 6-4.

In a clash of two qualifiers, Thailand’s Perakiat Siriluethaiwattana - who scored a seeded scalp in Matsui Toshihide on Tuesday - had no qualms in winning his second round against Vladimir Ivanov of Estonia 6-0, 6-2.

MOST VIEWED

  • ADB says Kingdom to lose 390,000 jobs

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicts Cambodia will suffer 390,000 job losses this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But it congratulated the government for its response to the crisis and its cash transfer programme for the poor and vulnerable. Last Wednesday, the ADB approved a $250

  • Fish with human-like teeth makes splash

    An image of a fish of the family Balistidae with human-like features made its rounds on social media after a Twitter user snapped a photo of his catch in Malaysia. The original post has received 675 comments, 8,200 retweets and more than 14,000 likes as of Tuesday. Astonishing

  • Gov’t not using EU aid for poor

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday refuted as “baseless”, claims that the government had used financial aid from the EU to implement the programme to identify and support poor and vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic. The prime minister was responding to Roth Sothy, a

  • Royal Group inks $35 million road deal on Koh Rong

    Royal Group Koh Rong Development Company and Sinohydro Corporation Limited reached a $35 million deal on Tuesday to build a 70km road on Koh Rong Island. The road will be 8m wide and is expected to take 16 months to complete, according to the plan approved by

  • Thai fence said to prevent illegal crossing

    Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provincial police say Thailand is not invading Cambodia after a series of social media posts about fences being built on the border raised alarms. Banteay Meanchey police chief Ath Khem said on Tuesday the information on social media on Sunday and

  • Nine more students from Saudi Covid-19 positive

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said preventing the spread of Covid-19 depends on each citizen. He expressed concern that the pandemic will continue for longer. Hun Sen said this after nine Cambodian students who recently returned to the Kingdom from Saudi Arabia were found to be

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post