Yuki Bhambri sets his target on main draw of Grand Slam event

Yuki Bhambri sets his target on main draw of Grand Slam event

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Indian tennis star Yuki Bhambri is in the form of his life and has now set his eyes to enter the main draw of a Grand Slam event in 2018. The 25-year-old star has also stated that playing a Challenger Open is always tough but he is well prepared to give his best in the Bengaluru Open.

The 25-year-old Delhi lad earned 80 points by winning the $50,000 Pune Challenger event last week and will be playing the $100,000 Challenger in Bengaluru starting Monday before bringing the curtains down on his 2017 campaign. If he can manage to clinch a seventh career Challenger crown in the Garden City, that will push him to the top-100 bracket. But Yuki is not bothered by that and is aiming to qualify for the main draw of the 2018 Australian Open.

“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,” Bhambri told reporters on the eve of the ATP Challenger Bangalore Open, reported PTI.

Bhambri started the year at the 474 position but progressed to the 122nd rank. His remarkable highs include a win over Frenchman Gael Monfils at the Citi Open. He also pushed Denis Shapovalov and Kevin Anderson to the deciding sets, which suddenly made him a name among the Indian masses. When asked to react to his loss to Kevin Anderson, Yuki stated that it was important for him not to be satisfied after beating Gael Monfils.

“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 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 a ‘first-strike’ 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.

The Bengaluru Open will be Bhambri’s 22nd tournament this year, excluding the Davis Cup weeks. A title in Bengaluru would put him in good stead for a spot in the Australian Open main draw, but the Delhi lad is not concerned about that and stated that every challenger event is difficult to win.

“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 can have a good week here as well,” he said.

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