Nearly 18 months ago, (now) India's top-ranked tennis player, Yuki Bhambri was ranked outside 500 in the world. A persisting elbow injury kept him away from the court during most of the 2016 season.
Fast forward to 2018, Yuki has transformed his game by playing in major tournaments. He is showing more aggression and grinding out longer rallies as well. Some fantastic results & top performances has helped him reach a career high ATP Singles Ranking of 83.
The Indian's next big test will be at the French Open later this month. He'll become the first Indian to play the main rounds of the French Open, since Somdev Devvarman in 2013. A direct entry into this prestigious event was at the back of some great tennis he has been playing lately, plus his instinct to back it up. Here’s how his combination of performance and instincts has worked for the top-ranked Indian:
Yuki made it to the main rounds of two back-to-back Masters events. He beat Nicolas Mahut and 9th-seed Lucas Pouille to enter into the Round Of 32 at the Indian Wells. He then put on a valiant fight but lost to Sam Querrey in a tough 3-setter and at the Miami Open he once again went through the Qualifying Rounds and reached the 2nd Round of the main draw.
Even top-performances at the highest levels weren’t enough for Yuki to break into the top 100,he took a gamble. Owing to niggling injuries, he opted out of the Davis cup with China to take care of his body. It didn’t pose to be much of a concern as Team India went on to win the tie thanks to some inspiring performances.
“Seeing how well Ram and Prajnesh played, it was a fantastic decision”, said the top-ranked Indian Singles player.
His decision of taking some time-off did the trick. A rejuvenated Yuki went on to win the biggest title of his career at Santaizi Challenger in Taiwan and got rewarded with a career-high ATP Singles ranking of 83, which meant, a direct entry at the French Open.
“I took a chance to see if I could get into the main draw of the French Open,” said Yuki after his title triumph in Taiwan.
We've seen him win qualifying rounds of Grand Slams with much ease. It will be a dream for him and for the entire nation to see him keep the same momentum once he's out there playing at the main rounds of the French Open for the first time in his career.