India’s Yuki Bhambri crashed out of the Australian Open men’s singles event after losing in straight sets to world number six Tomas Berdych in the opening round in Melbourne on Monday.
Berdych kicked off his 50th consecutive Grand Slam in style, demolishing Bhambri 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 45 minutes.
Bhambri started off well but his game deteriorated as the match progressed in fiercely hot conditions at the Margaret Court Arena. The Indian youngster proved no match for the sixth seed Berdych, who only dropped his serve once in the opening set.
Inexperience was writ large on Bhambri’s game as Berdych broke the Indian’s serve six times.
A semifinalist last year, Berdych dropped his opening service game as Bhambri was able to stick with his fancied opponent early on.
However, in the end, Bhambri failed to match the big-hitting Czech, who dominated proceedings from 5-5 onwards in the first set.
A double-fault that handed Berdych the first set in effect spelt the end for Bhambri, who quickly fell apart as the Czech took complete control of the match, dictating the Indian’s serve with searching returns and firing down 13 aces against his opponent’s two.
Berdych, who is in the same quarter of the draw as Roger Federer, hammered 35 winners and will next face Bosnia’s Mirza Basic.
As for world no.95 Bhambri, it was the end of yet another frustrating first-round campaign as last year too he lost his opener in Melbourne in straight sets to Andy Murray.