Yuki Bhambri is not done yet, says coach Stephen Koon

Coach Stephen Koon, who has worked with Yuki Bhambri for some years now, is confident his ward would return to the circuit after the lockdown.

Yuki Bhambri with his coach Stephen Koon.   -  Special Arrangement

Coach Stephen Koon, who has worked with Yuki Bhambri for some years now, is confident that the former junior World No.1, who rose to a career-best 83 on the ATP Tour, would return to the circuit after the lockdown.

“Yuki is not done yet. His peak is yet to come”, said Koon, who has worked with eight top-100 ATP players and four top-100 women players.

In an Instagram chat, Thailand-based Koon, who works with a number of Indian players including Y. Pranjala and Riya Bhatia, felt that Yuki was aiming to break into the top-50 two years ago when he qualified and made the second and third rounds of the big events in Indian Wells and Miami.

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“He would have made it, but got injured in Surbiton. He played Queens on one leg. In Wimbledon, despite the injury, he managed to take a set off Thomas Fabian,” recalled Koon.

Yuki played at the US Open and the Antwerp event in Antwerp in 2018 before a knee injury kept him away from the courts.

“Yuki knows how to win. His ball control and the way he takes the ball early are special. He didn’t get the right physios and doctors to fix things. When tennis resumes after the pandemic, Yuki will be ready,” said Koon.

Hard work

The coach took the example of Yuki to emphasise how much he worked to make an impact on the professional Tour, despite loads of natural talent.

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“Yuki was a super talent at 16. He won the Orange Bowl and the Australian Open juniors. Then he was winning men’s Futures singles titles. It took him the next 10 years or so to establish himself. It is so much difficult,” pointed out Koon.

Joining his coach on the chat, the 27-year-old Yuki said that he was finally putting the wall at home to good use — to play tennis.

“There is a difference between playing with nothing to lose, and when there is something to lose’’, said Koon, stressing on the importance of playing in the junior circuit.

Yuki said that it “motivates you” to play the Grand Slams as a junior and share the same locker room with the stars of the game.

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