India’s only two representatives in the men singles draw in French Open 2017, Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan, crashed out of the tournament following their first qualifying round defeats on Monday.
Bhambri fell to 25th seed from Canada, Peter Polansky in a 7-6 7-6 loss while Ramanathan was beaten comprehensively by 13th seed Argentine Guida Pella by the score of 2-6 1-6 in a disappointing effort. While both men lost in straight sets, the nature of their losses was very contrasting.
Bhambri had a bright start to his game and he quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead in the opening set against World no 132 Peter Polansky. Polansky, though, managed to erase the deficit as he drew the set at 4-4. Bhambri did well to tie the set at 6-6 taking it to the tie-breaker but the Canadian ultimately prevailed in the tie-break taking the set 7-6.
Bhambri once again lead in the opening exchanges of the second set and took a 3-2 lead following a brilliant conversion on a break. It looked like Bhambri was poised to win this set but Polansky broke the Indian’s serve and then held his own to jump to a 5-4 advantage. Bhambri once again took it down to the wire by drawing level at 6-6 and into another tie-breaker. Despite saving three set points, Bhambri lost the contest on his failure on the fourth set point.
Ramanathan’s battle against Pella was night and day in terms of its competitiveness to Bhambri’s fiery match against Polansky. Ramanathan was outclassed by the Argentine in all the aspects of the game and suffered a thumping in his 2-6 1-6 tame defeat to the World No 109.
With both Bhambri and Ramanathan bowing out of the clay court tournament in the early stage, no Indian will represent the country in the men’s singles event in the second Grand Slam of the calendar year which is set to go under way on May 28th.