By Dillon Lim
Day 3 of the Singapore Tennis Open saw the pairing Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann and Australia’s John Millmann face off against the 3rd seeded British pairing of Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot in the round of 16.
In the opening set, after saving three break points in the first game, the 3rd seeds found their rhythm. And they broke Hanfmann’s serve in the second game of the match on their 4th break point, when a backhand volley from the German landed wide. The British duo continued carrying the momentum forward on Bambridge’s serve when Inglot finished points quickly at the net by putting away short returns from their opponents. In just 11 mins, the Brits found themselves 3-0 up in the first set.
Leading 3-1, the 3rd seeds played an amazing point when Inglot displayed his solid volleys by blocking back shots fired at him by his opponents. And it ended the point with a sharp forehand volley that went in between the German-Australian duo. The next few games were fairly straightforward with both pairs holding their serves along with playing strong tennis from the baseline and at the net. Inglot then served out the set at 5-3 comfortably. Despite both sides having break point opportunities early on, it was the 3rd seeded duo who prevailed by converting 1/5 break points compared to Millman and Hanfmann’s 0/4 break points converted. The Brits got the first set under their belt in just slightly over half an hour.
The beginning of the 2nd set followed the end of the first in similar fashion, with both sides holding their serves easily. An exciting point was played at 2-1 (15-0) on Bambridge’s serve when a quick fire exchange at the net ended in favour of the Brits, before they finished their service hold to love. The first break point opportunity of the set came at 3-3 (40-40) on Millman’s serve and the 3rd seeds capitalized immediately (no sudden death) to take a 4-3 lead after a backhand from the Australian hit the top of the net. Visibly frustrated, "The Mailman" hit the ball into the stands. Not wanting to go down without a fight, the German-Australian duo clawed their way back to 40-40 from a 40-15 deficit on Bambridge’s serve to set themselves up with a break back opportunity. However, the Australian was not able to produce the same big return like he did the previous point and Inglot slam-dunked the slower return into the stands to consolidate the break of serve.
In the very next game on the German’s serve at 5-3, Bambridge played two superb back-to-back points, punching away a forehand volley and hitting a passing shot winner off the return of serve. That was before a volley into the net from Hanfmann gave the number 3 seeds two match points at 30-40 after being 30-0 down. Inglot then put away a forehand volley to end the match after just 1 hour and 5 minutes on the clock.
Despite their young partnership, Bambridge and Inglot seemed to have found their chemistry and will be looking to carry their momentum forward into the next match. The British pair will face the wildcard duo of American Jamie Cerretani and Canadian Adil Shamasdin for a spot in the semi-finals.
(Edited by Raj Kumar)
Dillon Lim is in his final year of university. He enjoys playing tennis and has been in love with the game since he was a kid. The 23 year old used to play competitively for Raffles Institution and was in the junior national training squad before leaving to study in the UK. And he still plays for his current university. Off the court, Dillon enjoys watching tennis matches and always keeps up with the very latest tournaments.
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