Australian Aleksandar Vukic showcased his fighting spirit, by overcoming a set deficit to prevail over Frenchman Hugo Grenier 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 on Tuesday at the Tata Open Maharashtra. The 25-year-old, who reached the second round at the Australian Open, had to work extremely hard to earn his spot in the second round in Pune. In the end, Vukic needed two hours and 21 minutes to advance. His reward is a second-round showdown against second seed Lorenzo Musetti. The World No.140 is eagerly looking forward to the opportunity that awaits him.
“He’s one of the youngsters who are really trying to crack through,” Vukic said. “It will be a great match, but I’m feeling good and it will be a good match either way.” Speaking about his current victory, Vukic stated, “[It was] very, very physical. I thought I played a pretty sloppy first set, but then started to find some form. Dug out a few games, got up 3-1 in the third and credit to him, he kept fighting and he broke me back then. Honestly could have gone either way, but always that first match is so tough, so very happy with it.”
Elsewhere, sixth seed Emil Ruusuvuori, who had eased his way in the first set by playing incredible tennis, had to survive a tight second set to get past Belarusian Egor Gerasimov 6-0, 7-6. The Finnish star will next take on Czech Vit Kopriva, who defeated Turkey’s Cem Ilkel 6-4, 6-1.
Portuguese veteran Joao Sousa, who was a former World No. 28, survived Indian wild card Arjun Kadhe 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 26 minutes. “It was a tough match today against a local player. I knew I was perhaps a little bit better on my level, but it was definitely a tough match after being a set down and a very close second set,” Sousa said. “In the end I was able to hit some good shot to get my level a little bit higher.”
On Monday, Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri secured his first tour-level win in almost four years. He fought back from a set deficit to get past Jozef Kovalik 6-7, 6-2, 7-5 at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune. The former World No. 83, whose last victory at this level came against Mirza Basic in Miami in 2018, has only played two tour-level singles matches since 2019 due to a right knee injury.
“It was really long and really tough but I am happy to get through,” Bhambri said. “It is a privilege to play at home and it is an important win as well playing at my home tournament. Each match is tough at tour-level so I am just taking it one match at a time.”