Yuki Bhambri knocked out of Dubai Duty Free Championships

Talking about his defeat, Bhambri said, his higher-ranked opponent had put him on backfoot.

By Samrat Chakraborty

India's Yuki Bhambri faltered against France's Aljaz Bedene as he lost 6-3, 1-6, 4-6 to bow out in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Championships on Monday.

Bhambri made a good start to the game as he held his nerves to take the first set away from World No. 59. He, however, was outplayed in the second set before coming back strongly in the decider but could not see it through.

The 28-year-old has been out of competitive action since 2018 owing to wrist and knee injuries. But he made a return to the court in February 2021.

Talking about his defeat, Bhambri said, his higher-ranked opponent had put him on backfoot.

Yuki Bhambri.

"I started really well, I came out in front," Bhambri said after the encounter.

"He came back better made a lot of balls, put me on the backfoot. The second set was crucial, he gained confidence from there. I had my chances in the eighth game (of the third set), you have to take your chances when you get them at this level, or any level".

The Indian had qualified for the main draw of the ATP 500 competition by beating his Indian compatriots Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the first and second round respectively.

After four matches in three days, Bhambri was pleased with how his body withstood the challenge.

"Everything seems to be OK. There is a lot of positives to take from here, competing with some of the best players, so hopefully onwards and upwards from here."

He was also paired up with veteran Indian tennis player Divij Sharan in the doubles qualifiers where they lost against the Italian duo of Andrea Vavassori and Lorenzo Sonego.