They are two of the best players in Indian tennis in recent years. Yuki Bhambri and Sumit Nagal, both of whom won junior Grand Slam titles as a solid foundation to their professional careers, entertained tennis enthusiasts with their forthright and imaginative response in the Instagram show Chai with Raja.
Former junior world No. 1 Yuki, who won the Australian Open boys title in 2009, did not have the sharpness of memory, and thus the 22-year-old Sumit, who came up with stunning answers, won the hearts and was adjudged the winner by the judge, Karman Kaur Thandi.
Both were heavily inclined towards cricket, and Sumit had the advantage of choosing Bollywood stars to spice up his conversation with host Purav Raja.
Yuki chose M. S. Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli for his three-course meal, while it was Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Warina Hussain for Sumit.
Having reached a career best rank of 125, Sumit was quick to remember the names of current top-50 men players who were part of the doubles draw when he won the Wimbledon junior title with Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam.
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, ranked No.5 in the world, Denis Shapovalov of Canada (rank 13), Alex Di Minaur of Australia (rank 18), Taylor Fritz of US (rank 24), Reilly Opelka US (rank 31), Casper Ruud of Norway (rank 34), Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia (rank 47), were some of the players in that junior draw in 2015.
In contrast, Yuki had to scratch his head quite a bit to recall the names of Kaza Vinayak Sharma, Ronak Manuja and Sudanwa Sitaram, who were part of the boys draw of the Australian Open in 2009.
Yuki was stunned to be told that there were 223,000 people in the world named Yuki, and responded by saying that about two lakh of those must be Japanese.
Yuki felt that he could have broken into the top 50 in 2018 but for the knee injury, but declared: “Job not done. Watch out for me in 2021.” He chose sister Sanaa for mixed doubles, and said that he would like to be remembered as one “who realised his potential.”
Sumit could get close to the number of McDonald restaurants in Japan, the second highest in the world at 3,000 after the US, and could recognise the logo of Maggi.
When given an option, Sumit said that he would love to have Tiger Shroff or Varun Dhawan play him in a film in which a kid who is passionate about cricket gets into tennis, almost quits the game before moving to Bengaluru, Canada and Germany, getting grilled en route and finding the way.
Sumit confessed that he spent a lot of time on video games and Instagram, especially during the weekend.
He chose Virat Kohli as the greater athlete against Mahesh Bhupathi, and conceded that he would not challenge Somdev Devvarman over an 800m race, as he had lost to him.
Hoping to reach a career best rank of top 30, Sumit said that he would open a school after his playing days. He chose Mumbai over Delhi, as the city “never sleeps and is very safe.”
When asked what car he would buy for his dad, Sumit said that he would rather buy Royal Enfield Bullet as the one he had bought for him had been stolen.
Quite warm, Sumit half-teasingly praised Purav for his shining head, saying he liked his hair style.
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