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After performing good at Indian Wells, Yuki Bhambri feels he belongs in the big leagues

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After performing good at Indian Wells, Yuki Bhambri feels he belongs in the big leagues

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SportsCafe Desk

03/15/2018

After making all the way to the third round at Indian Wells, Yuki Bhambri has stated that he has the ability to challenge big players in ATP events. Bhambri has revealed that his initial goal was only to qualify but after delivering a good performance he is hoping that it continues in the future.

Yesterday, Bhambri’s incredible journey at Indian Wells came to an end with a third-round loss to 18th seed Sam Querrey 7-6(4), 4-6, 4-6. The Indian put up a tough fight against Querrey but unfortunately, his run in the tournament ended after an engaging 2 hours and 22 minutes. Before the match against Querrey, the Indian had registered victories against veteran Nicolas Mahut and World No. 12 Lucas Pouille and the wins increased his confidence which reflected in his statement in which he had said that now he had gained the ability to challenge the game’s experienced names on bigger platforms.

“It didn’t feel like I was out of place,” he said as quoted by The Indian Express.

“Playing the No.12 in the world, the No.21, these are the top guys and it doesn’t get bigger than this. I beat one and felt I could win this too (Querrey). So it was definitely a positive and I hope I can keep giving myself the opportunity to play these guys again and try and get further.”

Ahead of the start of the tournament, Bhambri had kept his expectations to a minimum and was only thinking of qualifying to the main draw but after the upsets that he inflicted, he has moved closer to breaking into the top 100. The Indian player believes that expecting less from himself made his way easy in the tournament.

“To qualify this time was the initial goal. That’s tough as well to play guys ranked similar to your level,” he added.

“So to get to qualifying and win at least a round in the main draw, which I hadn’t done at Masters before, was the goal. Once I pulled off the second round, I didn’t think about how far I can go, but just focus on what I could do.”

Not just on the court, Bhambri has been working hard behind the scenes as well to give him the best chance of winning when he steps onto the court. He, along with long term coach Steve Koon, has been working to come up with strategies to beat his opponents in the major events.

“He’s seen some of the big players while on tour, which is something I haven’t come across. I’m not aware of how they play a lot of times, so (Koon) helps in building strategies. It’s also about working on your own game because of the different perspective from outside. You can’t always see the mistakes or the good or bad that you’ve done,” he daid.

Bhambri’s next assignment is to play in the qualifiers of the Miami Masters and after his tremendous run at the Indian Wells, he is looking to improve his record in the upcoming tournament.

“When I got the wild card, I was 17-18, at the time and I wasn’t ready. Now things are different. I’ve done it at ATP 250s, the 500s. Now even at a Masters.”

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