Make or Break year for Yuki Bhambri

2017 Citi Open
Yuki Bhambri in action at the 2017 Citi Open
Samrat Sikdar

It's not a good scenario for a huge country like India where we don't have a tennis player in top 100 of ATP Tennis rankings. We had seen players like Akhter Ali, Vijay Amritraj, Leander Paes, and Ramesh Krishnan in past who had enjoyed their moments in the Singles division. If we consider the present scenario then it has to be Yuki Bhambri, A former Junior Australian Open champion.

Yuki Bhambri started playing professional tennis 10 years back during 2008 and reached his career-best ranking of 88 in November 2015. Then suddenly he slipped to a career-low ranking of 546 after a series of injuries. Two career-threatening injuries of elbow and knee had pushed him back to the wall.

Bhambri had age on his side as he was only 24 then. He started to get back to his fitness and lost touch from the beginning of 2017 and gradually his career graph witnessed a strong surge again. He jumped to 116 from a 500-odd ranking with a series of strong performance.

But his best performance came in Washinton DC where he registered his biggest career win after thrashing current World No. 39 Gael Monfils of France. He reached the quarter-finals stage and lost a closely fought match to Kevin Anderson of South Africa.

After finishing the year 2017 on a high note he maintained the same spirit in first two months of 2018 so far, where he qualified for the Australian Open main draw and finished as a runner-up in Chennai Challenger.

Now he is sitting at 101, just outside of top 100 bracket. If he can improve his second service and be able to stay injury free throughout the season then he will have a huge chance of breaking into the Top 50.

At the same time, he can not afford to slip into lower rankings again with inconsistent performances and injuries as it will take at least another two years to rewrite his come back which seems very unlikely at the age of 27 or 28.

In the recent past, this has happened with the likes of Somdev Devvarman and Saketh Myneni. Somdev has already retired and Myneni has slipped into 600 odd rankings while he is very unlikely to come back at the age of 30. Bhambri should take some lessons from these two players' fate.

Hope Yuki Bhambri will stay injury free, will do some work on his service and grab whatever opportunity comes to him as this is going to be a "make or break" year for him. It is now or never for the lad!

Edited by Raunak J


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