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My aim is to qualify for main draw of Grand Slams, says Yuki Bhambri

Starting the year at 474, Yuki is currently ranked 122 having registered a win over Gael Monfils and pushed Denis Shapovalov and Kevin Anderson to deciding sets in the Davis Cup and Citi Open respectively.

Reported by: PTI, Bengaluru [ Published on: November 20, 2017 21:34 IST ]
India Tennis
A file image of Yuki BhambriPhoto:GETTY IMAGES

India's top singles player Yuki Bhambri's main goal for the next year is to qualify for the main draw of the Grand Slams. "I would like to try and finish in the top 100 again. At least try and make it to (main round of) some of the Grand Slams next year," he told reporters on the eve of his match against ATP Challenger Bangalore Open against Sriram Balaji. 

Starting the year at 474, Yuki is currently ranked 122 having registered a win over Frenchman Gael Monfils and pushed Denis Shapovalov and Kevin Anderson to deciding sets in the Davis Cup and Citi Open respectively. 

Asked to react to his loss to Kevin Anderson in Citi Open, Yuki said it was important for him not to be satisfied after beating Gael Monfils, but wanted to keep doing well. 

"I wanted to go deeper and keep doing well. It does happen though (beat a big player and then lose the next match). It was one of the biggest wins (against Monfils) of my career and it was very easy for me to be happy with that but I wasn't. 

"I had a great chance with Anderson (Kevin) but I lost the third set. So from there, from third to quarterfinals, I wanted to see how far I could go," he added. 

Asked about the difference between Monfils and Anderson's game, Yuki said Monfils relies on longer rallies and Anderson is 'first-strike' tennis player. 

"It's longer rallies and hitting a lot of balls against Monfils. Against Anderson, it is first-strike tennis. He would rely on his serve and I had to be ready to play quick points, but high-intensity points, the point would be over in four or five shots. Both different players and both bring different things to the table," he said. 

Replying to a query, Yuki said the Australian Open main draw is not playing on his mind, but playing Challenger event is tough. 

Yuki also said on few occasions he chopped and changed his game, but most of the time he maintained his right balance. 

"Some days you want to push your tennis a bit more someday you want to push your body. It is just finding the balance, It is all about going day by day and seeing how it is," he said. 

Yuki will be based out of Thailand trying to get a feel before heading for the qualifying event of Australian Open. 

"Thailand, it is a place which will work out well because it is warm when you want to be ready for Australia, everyone knows it's pretty hot out there. Most of the top Asia players will be there and just looking forward to playing with them and sharing ideas," he said. 

Asked how he felt good coming into this tournament after a win at Pune, Yuki hoped he has a good week here at Bengaluru Open too. 

"It is. You always want to come into a tournament having done well or having won a lot of matches. I have done that. Looking forward to playing here. It looks great. The tournament definitely looks wonderfully set up. Hopefully, I cant have a good week here as well," he said. 

On his fitness break, Yuki said, "Everything is good. Just a strain from the match. Looking forward to playing here." 

On managing the schedule with the fitness concerns, Yuki said he has been consistently getting into quarter and semi-final stages of tournaments, which gives continuity to his form. 

"On an average, I think I would like to play two to three weeks at a time and then take a break. It obviously depends on how you are going to do. Because if you are going to have a few first round losses you have to re-schedule and re-strategise. 

"But fortunately I have been consistent. Most of the tournaments, I have gone deep. Into the quarters, semi-final which has been ideal," he said. 

Asked about the changes in his game, Yuki talked about his confidence having played a lot of good matches at international level since the year beginning. 

"I had a good start in Chennai and made the final qualifying round in Australia. That set the year rolling for me. I just have been very confident," he added.

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