Rio De Janeiro, 5 June-2014(IANS): Brazil jumped one spot to No. 3 while Argentina leapt two…
Yuki Bhambri has a lot to celebrate. For the first time ever, the 22-year-old Delhi lad played the final of a clay court Challenger. The effort helped him reach 158 in the latest world rankings, the best for an Indian at the moment, ahead of Somdev Devvarman (172) and Saketh Myneni (196). Also, Yuki is inching closer to his career-best rank of 143 that he had reached in February last year.
This is a rare occasion that three players figure in the top-200 of world rankings. This projects a healthy image of Indian tennis, especially in the light of the Davis Cup tie scheduled against New Zealand in Christchurch in July.
Qualifying for the Australian Open and playing a good match against Olympic champion Andy Murray had set the tempo for Yuki this season and he did well to notch the big points from the two finals of Challengers in Delhi and Samarkand.
From being ranked 414 in February, it has been a fabulous sail for Yuki, who had affixed his stamp of class in the Asian Games last year in Incheon with bronze medals in singles and doubles with Divij Sharan. Despite the favourable winds, Yuki was in no mood to celebrate, as he conceded that he was just happy to be consistent.
Having lost a lot of time to a string of ankle, knee and foot injuries over the years after having made it to the top-200 for the first time in July 2012, Yuki said that he appreciated good health more than anything else, and that he was basically looking forward to playing the whole season.
“There were no targets for me. Of course, the goal is to reach the top-100. But other than that, I just try and play as much as I can,” said Yuki, before getting ready for his first round qualifying event at Roland Garros in Paris on Tuesday.
Despite the fine run on clay in the Samarkand Challenger in Uzbekistan when he was beaten only by the top seed Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia, Yuki had no qualms about conceding that clay in Paris was tough for him.
Yuki said that he was looking forward to playing more tournaments in Korea before moving to the grass events in the UK in preparation for Wimbledon.
For sure, Yuki has a healthy attitude and a stable head on his strong shoulders, as he goads his legs to take him into the top-100 in singles, a milestone achieved only by Leander Paes and Somdev Devvarman among the Indian men in the last two decades.