The new men's national champion could only exhale with a fist punch in the air after emerging victorious. With the humidity affecting his game and the crowd supporting his opponent more often, Yuki Bhambri heaved a sigh of relief at the end of it all. The former junior Australian Open champion defeated top seed and friend Vishnu Vardhan 6-4, 7-6(8) in the final of the Fenesta Open national tennis championship at DLTA on Saturday.Rutuja Bhosale's dream run continued as the 15-year-old was crowned the women's champion after dominating Isha Lakhani 6-3, 6-3.
With a break up in the third game of the first set, Yuki mixed his baseline game to break Vishnu's concentration. Going all out to giving drop shots, the 19-year-old city boy soon had the set wrapped up as Vishnu committed many unforced errors.
Continuing his form, he broke in the first game of the second. However, Yuki lost his focus briefly as Vishnu kept the ball in play to force him into errors. With both baseline shots not working to Yuki's full advantage, Vishnu capitalised on the opportunity to level scores 4-4.
What played to the top seed's disadvantage were three line calls that went against him. Yuki quickly recovered to the take the set to a tiebreaker. As tension mounted, the crowd surprisingly favoured the 24-year-old from Andhra Pradesh but Yuki didn't budge. As Vishnu hit a ball long at 6-7, Yuki's camp on the stands went berserk.
The Asian junior champion chose to begin aggressively like her idol Venus Williams. Playing strong forehand shots, Rutuja's winners simply blew former winner Lakhani off the court. "I lost concentration in the second but soon focused my energy to triumph," said the ecstatic winner. "I had nothing to lose. By playing without fear, I was able to do much better."
With all four junior Grand Slams in focus, the world No. 73 in juniors aims to qualify for Melbourne first. She will next be seen in an ITF Grade 2 meet in Korea.