From Singapore, Lucknow to Dubai, it has been a spring of hope for Yuki Bhambri, who had lost two years to a knee injury.
By beating two of the country’s best players Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran, in qualifying for the Dubai ATP-500 event, the 28-year-old Yuki showed that he was getting into his groove. He played a good match against Aljaz Bedene of Sovenia, a top-60 player, before losing in three sets.
After Singapore and before going to Dubai, Yuki had used the time to play doubles in the $15,000 event in Lucknow with Saketh Myneni and he won the title.
“Having good results does make you confident,” said Yuki, all set to leave for Florida, where he will compete in two Challengers in Orlando and Tallahassee.
“I enjoy playing in the US. I am looking forward to these events as I have not been there for a long time,” he added.
It has been two weeks of solid preparation for Yuki back home in the capital, as he got to train with Myneni, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth.
“Got to practice with good players, as the ITF tournament was happening here. So, some good training and good practice sessions. I am looking forward to playing tournaments again,” said the wiry Yuki, who has shed a lot of weight and become more athletic.
His tennis brain is ticking nicely, and Yuki is hoping that his body would cooperate for some robust tennis.
“I have been relatively okay. Some days my knee does hurt. I am still figuring out all the exercises that need to be done consistently to make sure that I am pain free. But, for the most part, I feel alright,” said Yuki.
He had competed in all the four Grand Slams in 2018 when he was ranked No. 83 in the world, before the knee injury forced him to cool his heels.
Looking ahead, Yuki said that as the Grand Slams were nearing, he was keen to do well in the French Open and Wimbledon. His singles rank may be in four figures, but Yuki can gain entry with his protected ranking and play the big league.
“The goal is to stay pain free. And then, hoping to kick off for the whole US hard court swing and the US Open,” said Yuki.
The return of Yuki has strengthened Indian men’s tennis, as Sumit Nagal, Prajnesh and Ramkumar have already been doing well.
Yuki will be accompanied to the US circuit by Jeevan, Prajnesh and Sriram Balaji.
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