It’s hard to believe that Yuki Bhambri is only 20 years old. Ever since he won the Australian Open junior title and becoming the world no. 1 junior, the nation has built high expectations n his young shoulders and then wrote him off as injuries and the difficult transition into the pros made him an also-ran.
However this year, the Indian has made rapid strides and is now one victory away from breaking into the top 200 rankings in the world. On Wednesday, Bhambri, seeded 4th, beat Irish player James McGee 6-2, 6-1 in the second round of the ATP Challenger event in Russia.
Bhambri’s win puts him into the quarter finals against the no. 7 seed Evgeny Kirilov. The 20 year old is already the highest ranked Indian on the ATP tour at no. 218 and his win on Wednesday has earned him 15 ATP ranking points. That should be enough to move him to a new career best of around no. 205 in the world.
A win against Kirilov on Thursday will earn him 14 additional ranking points and see him break into the top 200. Bhambri is not defending any ATP points till September which means he stands an excellent chance to gain further ground in the rankings.
Bhambri is also top seeded at the challenger event with partner Divij Sharan. The duo beat A. Karatsev/ R. Muzaev 7-6, 6-2 to reach the semi finals of the doubles event as well.
The Indian is also ensured of a spot in the qualifying draw of the US Open which will take place in New York at the end of August.