Chennai : India’s Yuki Bhambri, seeded two, on Friday set up a final clash with No.1 seed Jordan Thompson of Australia in the Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis tournament here.
Bhambri got the better of Korea’s Duckhee Lee, the third seed, 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 25 minutes while Thompson beat unseeded Spaniard Pedro Martinez 6-1, 7-6.
The first set saw an even contest between the Indian number one, ranked 112 in the world and the speedy Korean.
Bhambri played well within himself from the baseline and made the occasional foray to the net to finish off points.
A solitary break did the trick for Bhambri, a former Australian Open junior champion, in the first set.
The second set was one-way traffic as the Indian stepped up his game and hit winners from both flanks.
Two service breaks highlighted Lee’s struggles in the set as the Bhambri pulled away to victory.
The Indian ace didn’t face a single break point through the course of the match.
With the win, Bhambri improved his head-to-head against Lee to 2-0 and enhanced his chances of returning to the top 100.
The 25-year-old Bhambri is a former junior number one and winner of the 2009 Australian Open Junior Championship.
He is the first Indian to win the junior Australian Open title and fourth Indian in history to capture a junior singles title at a Grand Slam championship.
In the other semi-final, Thompson started the match with two aces in the first game and dominated the set, taking it 6-1 in quick time.
The Spanish player, who upset fourth-seeded Egyptian Mohammed Safwat in the quarterfinals, fought back in the second and held his own against the Aussie.
In the tie-breaker, Thompson jumped to a 3-0 lead and looked set to close it out quickly before Martinez hit back with three points.
The No.1 seed kept his composure to take the tie-breaker to progress to Saturday’s final.
Results (Semi-finals): Jordan Thompson (Australia-X1) beat Pedro Martinez (Spain) 6-1, 7-6; Yuki Bhambri (India-X2) beat Duckhee Lee (Korea) 7-5, 6-2.