While experienced Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will need to play out of their skins to keep this World Group play-off Sunday reverse singles relevant, Yuki Bhambri were left nursing regrets that will be hard to get over.
Outplayed by a superior opponent, Bhambri was left rueing a string of lost chances. “I felt that I didn’t push him enough in the first two sets. There were a lots of errors on the forehand side. There was a moment in the third set when I was 4-1 up I couldn’t stay out there and capitalise on it,” he started.
Bhambri was clearly out of depth too. “He made me work hard and do a lot more than what I thought I had to win points. I don’t think I won a lot of points while playing from the baseline and tried to match up with him and that’s where I fell short,” he complained.
Bangalore’s much-talked-about altitude was also misleading. “It’s always tough playing in Bangalore because you might not be able to control your shots and I think that’s what happened today. I also feel I might have given him a bit too much respect,” he said.
His cluelessness in altering strategy, and inability to break free of the baseline was also exposed. “I accept that I could have mixed and matched a bit more. Could have come in a bit more in my first serve. I did that a bit more in the third set in bits and pieces in the entire match. I got more success when coming in and when I chipped him a few times. But whenever I got back on equal terms I started hitting from the baseline which is where my comfort level was and I should’ve seen that he was the better player from the baseline,” he concluded.
In the end though, it was all about Bhambri botching chances – including the 5-3 game in the first set that went on for 10 minutes and over 8 deuces. “If I had taken my chances, if I had broken him there it would have been different set altogether,” he said.