Anand Amritraj: High time Yuki gets back into top-100

Yuki Bhambri was number one in junior rankings but has failed to impress in the recent years, largely owing to an injury-ridden career.

A file picture of Yuki Bhambri. “I know he can play well and has played well for us in Davis Cup. I think he is on his way back,” says Anand Amritraj.   -  R. Ragu

Indian tennis has been enjoying a string of success over the past couple of months, starting with Ramkumar Ramanathan's victory over world number 68 Dominic Thiem in the Antalya Open, followed by Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan playing the Wimbledon. Yuki Bhambri's recent win over Gael Monfils in the Citi Open was the icing on the cake.

Speaking on Yuki's form, former player and Davis Cup captain, Anand Amritraj, who reached a career-high ranking of 74, said, “I think he did great to get through couple of rounds of qualifying and win three rounds beating quality players, I think it's a breakthrough tournament for Yuki. I hope he does even better, rest of the summer.”

Davis Cup team-mate, Somdev Devvarman lauded Yuki's feat but also stressed on the 25-year-old's need to remain fit. “For him it is about staying fit. He has had these issues for quite a few years now. For him it is about staying fit and playing the full schedule and once he does that, the consistency will come,” he said, speaking to Sportstar on Saturday.

Amritraj also added, “I know he can play well and has played well for us in Davis Cup. I think he is on his way back.”

Yuki was number one in junior rankings but has failed to impress in the recent years, largely owing to an injury-ridden career. “It's been eight years since he was the world number one junior and it's high-time he gets back into top-100, in my opinion.

"I've told him several times — you deserve to be in the top-100 and you need to be in the top-100. You've got the game, you've just got to put it together,” said Amritraj.

With India's Davis Cup tie against Canada looming around the corner, both the former players had a common point to make — India has a great chance if world number 10, Milos Raonic sits out of the tie.

“If Raonic doesn't play, we've got a very good chance. This is the best chance we're ever going to get!” said Amritraj. “Those guys are beatable, the doubles team is certainly beatable. Our boys just have to perform at the top level,” he said.

While Ram and Yuki have enjoyed recent success, Somdev cautiously added that the Davis Cup's five-set format will be a challenge for the duo. “As much as I feel like they're doing great, they haven't been tested yet in five-set matches. They haven't played that many Grand Slam matches yet or as many big Davis Cup five-set matches yet. I think this is going to be a great test,” he concluded.