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Yuki wins opening round of qualifiers in Chennai Open

PTI | Chennai |

Yuki Bhambri breezed past Italy's Marco Cecchinato in the opening round of the qualifiers in the Chennai Open here on Saturday.

The former top-100 player and a quarterfinalist in 2014 in Chennai Open, Yuki has returned to the circuit after a long injury lay off. But he displayed a lot of aggression as he romped to a 7-5 6-1 victory in one hour and 10 minutes.

Yuki will next take on Argentina's Nicolas Kicker, who got the better of Sasi Kumar Mukund of India.

Mukund bowed out of the first round of the qualifiers after losing 7-6(7) 3-6 5-7. He seemed to have gained a measure of his 24-year-old opponent as he fought tooth and nail to win the tie-breaker but suffered an early setback in the next set, getting broken in his second game itself.

Mukund tried to power his way back, riding on his big serve and powerful forehand strokes, but Kicker drew the sting out of his own shots by imparting massive top spin into them.

The third set was a hard-fought affair with the games going with serve till 5-5. Kicker broke through in the critical 11th game and held on to his serve to beat Mukund 7-5.

"It was a close match. The third set was tight and could have gone either way. May be I was a bit passive. He took his chances," Mukund said.