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French Open: Bhambri knocked out, Bopanna advances

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Indian tennis ace Yuki Bhambri’s debut at the French Open ended with a first round defeat when he lost to 111th-ranked Ruben Bemelmans from Belgium, 4-6,4-6, 1-6, in the men’s singles match on Monday.

Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin began their Roland Garros campaign with a comfortable win over the American team of Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe, 6-3, 6-1 proceeded to the second round in the men’s doubles match of the tournament.

Bemelman’s strong and swift actions were too good for Bhambri as the former dominated the game right from the beginning and won it with ease.

Bhambri was the lone Indian in the in the men’s singles category of the tournament.

The 25-year-old had earlier qualified for the main draw of the Roland Garros for the first time after winning the Chinese Taipei Challenger title with straight sets win over compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan.

It should be noted that Bhambri and Bemelmans had previously faced each other only once during the New Delhi Challenger in 2015 when the Indian eked out a thrilling three-set win over the Belgian.

On Wednesday, Bhambri and Divij Sharan will take on the Indo-French pair of Purav Raja and Fabrice Martin in the last-64 round in the men’s doubles match.

Meanwhile, Bopanna along with Hungarian tennis star Timea Babos will face the Chinese-Australian team of Zhang Shuai and John Peers in the last-32 round on Wednesday.

In other results, American tennis ace Serena Williams marked her return to clay-court tennis in a dominant style as she defeated Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova, 7-6, 7-4 and 6-4 at the French Open.

This was Williams’ first game on clay surface since 2016 and her first outing after she gave birth, following her victory in the 2017 Australian Open.

Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova also survived a slight scare before eventually winning against Holland’s Richel Hogenkamp 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 respectively.

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