Fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia saved five match points en route to a 4-6, 7-6 (8), 6-1 comeback victory over Indian wild card Vishnu Vardhan in the first round of the Chennai Open on Monday.
Another Indian wild card, Yuki Bhambri, had better luck with a 6-2, 6-3 upset victory over Karol Beck of Slovakia, while Israel’s Dudi Sela routed sixth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-0, 6-1.
Vardhan, ranked 312th, broke Dodig in the 10th game of the match to clinch the opening set. But the 24-year-old failed to capitalize on five match points in the second set, allowing Dodig to claw his way back into the contest.
Bhambri, a former top-ranked junior, beat an opponent ranked 244 places higher at No. 101, and 10 years his senior.
He displayed excellent court coverage, charging to the net for crucial points, to get his second win in just his fifth match on the ATP Tour. He next plays top-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in the second round.
Bhambri broke Beck in the fourth and sixth games of the opening set to take a 5-1 lead before Beck broke back in the seventh game. Bhambri replied immediately with another service break, sealing it on the fifth set point.
He then broke Beck twice to take an identical 5-1 lead in the second set before eventually securing his place in the next round.
”I got an early break in the first set, I kept pushing further. I’m glad I got another one.” Bhambri said. ”The lead helped me go through in the end.”
Also Monday, Indian No. 1 Somdev Devvarman pulled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury.
”Keeping the Australian Open in mind, my doctors have advised me to take this decision,” he said in a statement.
Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin will replace Devvarman in the draw.