Second seed Somdev brushed aside the challenge of wild card compatriot Karunuday Singh 6-2 7-5 in one hour and 28 minutes while Yuki squandered a match point against Frenchman Lucas Pouille to be knocked out with a 6-2 5-7 5-7 scoreline in two hours and 20 minutes at R K Khanna Tennis stadium.
Karunuday, playing only his second main draw at a Challenger event, began well by serving out the first game at love with an ace but keeping the points short was a big task against Somdev, who has amazing ability to retrieve the ball.
The two players were happy playing from the baseline and it only helped Somdev, who sent many a balls short but Karunuday did not latch on to them. Rather he kept the ball in play and there it was difficult to outrally Somdev.
"It was strange. The wind was coming from both the sides. It was not cleanest of the match I played. It was difficult situation out there. The intention was to put pressure on his serve and I did that. I kind of start slow," Somdev said after his win.
He also praised his opponent saying, "KU (Karunuday) ispromising. He has a good team behind him. He's on right track."
Yuki was cruising at one stage as he pocketed the first set in no time but Pouille upped the ante, forcing the Indian to re-think his strategy. Pouille raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set but Yuki was up to task as he made it 5-5 with his tremendous ground strokes.
Egged on by the partisan crowd, Yuki served well and was solid from the baseline but Pouille further raised the level of his game and the Indian was again on the backfoot.
Pouille packed a lot of power in his ground strokes and stood out with his returns. It was Yuki who went up in the decider by breaking the Frenchman in the third game and had a match point in the ninth game on Pouille's serve but could not cash in on.


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