Yuki Bhambri draws easy first round opener in Maharashtra Open

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Yuki Bhambri draws easy first round opener in Maharashtra Open

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SportsCafe Desk

12/30/2017

India’s highest ranked singles player Yuki Bhambri will face wildcard entrant Arjun Kadhe in the first round of the Maharashtra open that starts in January. Tournament-favorite Marin Cilic and defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut have both been handed byes in the first round.

The  World No. 116 could only reach the second round of the ATP 250 in Chennai last time and he would hope to go further this time as he faces Kadhe in the opening match, where he remains the firm favourite to progress in the tournament. Kadhe has made his return to the pro circuit only recently this year after graduating from Oklahoma University and is ranked a lowly 608. Bhambri's real challenge, however, could come in the pre-quarterfinals if he beats Kadhe as he might run into the eighth-seeded and world number 81 Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

The high-flying Indian tennis ace ended 2017 on a strong note with a title win at the Pune Challenger and a semi-final finish at the season-ending Bengaluru Open. His impressive performance in the Citi Open, which saw him defeat Gael Monfils, was the icing on the cake to what was an impressive season for the young starlet.

Tournament favourite Marin Cilic and Spanish international Bautista Agut have been handed a bye in the first round. Cilic had seen a shock exit last time when he was beaten by Slovakian Jozef Kovalik and would look to avoid any such upsets this time. Agut will be in the running to successfully win the tournament and defend his title as he prepares to face the winner of the first round clash between Giles Simon and Tennys Sandgren.

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