India's top-ranked men's singles tennis player Yuki Bhambri takes on ninth seed Lucas Pouille in the second round tie of BNP Paribas Open 2018, the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells on Sunday, March 11.
Bhambri won his first ever match in a Masters 1000 tournament when he brushed aside higher-ranked Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in straight sets in the first round Saturday, March 10. The world no. 110 came back from behind after being down 1-4 and 1-3 in the first and second set, respectively.
He had beaten the likes of Dennis Novikov and compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan to reach the main draw of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since 2009 in Miami.
Bhambri vs Pouille (Head-to-Head: 1-1)
- Pouille defeated Bhambri 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 in New Delhi Challenger in 2014
- Bhambri defeated Pouille 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in Chennai Challenger in 2014
The 25-year-old from New Delhi has been impressing at the highest level ever since he made a return from a tennis elbow injury as 474th-ranked player in January 2017.
Increased focus on fitness helped him claim one of the biggest wins of his career last year at ATP Masters 500 tournament in Washington (Citi Open) where he stunned Gael Monfils in Round of 32 before reaching the quarter-final.
Bhambri ended 2017 with an ATP Challenger title in Pune. The India Davis Cupper also reached the main draw of Australian Open but suffered a first-round exit.
Bhambri faces a tough test
Riding high on confidence, Bhambri will be looking to survive another day in Indian Wells. However, he needs to be at his best to even test his second-round opponent Pouille, who reached his career-high ranking of 12 earlier this month.
The 24-year-old Frenchman seems to be in the form of his life as he has reached the final in three of the last four tournaments he has featured in. He had finished runner-up at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (ATP 500) earlier this month.
When is the match and how to watch it live
The second round match between Pouille and Bhambri will not start before 12pm local time, 12:30am IST (Monday).