Yuki Bhambri rises in Taiwan

Yuki Bhambri has been a promising tennis player for India but he has, for too long and the liking of too many, remained a star in the making. However, he has been performing well of late as is evident from the way he has played at Taiwan. He has been able to earn qualification for the main draw in the singles of the ATP Challenger event being staged over there and then has teamed up with Chieh-Fu Wang to defeat Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana in the doubles leg of the same tournament – incidentally, the Ratiwatanas were the second seeded pair for the same. This match lasted for an hour and 31 minutes.


Yuki, who has been seeded third in the singles leg, has defeated Arata Onozawa from Japan. Arata was given the fifth place in seeds for the tournament. The match between them was the third and last round of the qualifiers of the singles – Yuki managed to win it in an hour and 36 minutes with a scoreline that read 7-5 and 6-1. He is expected to go up against Amir Weintraub from Israel. This will be Yuki’s second match against him – in their previous encounter at Uzbekistan the Indian had been able to triumph his Israeli counterpart. It remains to be seen how he fares against a player who will be looking to exact some revenge for the humiliation of loss.


If Yuki is able to win against Amir then he will have to tackle Yuchi Sugita, who is from Japan and has a world ranking of 144. Incidentally Sugita is the seventh seed of the tournament and has also defeated Yuki the last couple of times they have played together. As of now Yuki is the only Indian playing in this tournament – Karunaday Singh has lost in his final match of the qualifying round against Yasutaka Uchiyama from Japan with a margin of 2-6 and 1-6. Uchiyama is also the top seeded player in the tournament.


The tournament, being played on a hard court surface, offers a prize money of 125 thousand dollars and winning it would help Yuki increase his ranking and earnings substantially. Indian tennis is right now at crossroads. Leander Paes is the only shining beacon, Mahesh Bhupathi does not play that often and there are plenty of promising newcomers on the horizon such as Rohan Bopanna, Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman who need to step up and make their talent count with steady and consistent performances. I say this because in the days ahead they will be the ones who lead the way in this sport and much will depend on them in the absence of the stalwarts.