Bhambri stuns fourth seed Kretschmer; enters ITF finals

Mumbai: Davis cupper Yuki Bhambri, who stunned top-seed Karan Rastogi in the semi-finals, caused a flutter yet again as he scalped fourth seed Gero Kretschmer of Germany in straight sets to storm into the final of the CCI -ITF USD 15,000 Men`s Futures Tennis Tournament.

Ranked 491 in the ATP rankings, Bhambri overcame a strong challenge from the 414-ranked German to fashion a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 win in a hard-fought match that lasted two and a quarter hours at the Cricket Club of India (CCI).

Bhambri will face former Davis Cupper and seventh seed Roko Karanusic in the final after the Croatian, who shunted out third seed Vishnu Vardhan of India and is making a gradual comeback after a two-year injury-hit lay-off, shocked second seed Adam Kellner of Hungary 6-4, 6-3 in the second semi-final that lasted 75 minutes.

Favourite Kretschmer added power behind his strokes to enjoy early domination as he led 4-2 in the first set after earning a break in the third game.

But just when Kretschmer`s confidence began to grow and he dared to play his shots, the gutsy Bhambri broke back in the eighth to level at 4-4, before holding serve and snatching the lead for the first time at 5-4.

Thereafter games went with serve which forced the set into a tie-breaker, where Bhambri sailed to a crucial 6-3 lead and held on to take the opening set.

The advantage did wonders to the Indian`s confidence as he surged to a 4-1 lead in the second set with breaks in the first and third games that surprised his opponent.


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