Home Sports Top seed Yuki eyeing his second junior Grand Slam

Top seed Yuki eyeing his second junior Grand Slam


New York : As US Open tennis championship enters its second week, it’s the turn of Indian juniors, led by Yuki Bhambri, to dig deep into their arsenal.

The junior Australian Open champion Yuki has got the top billing and will take on American Jordan Cox in the boys’ singles first round Sunday. Sudanwa Sitaram is the other Indian in the draw and will meet American Alexander Domijan.

Yuki, 17, had skipped the junior French Open due to an ankle injury and later the Wimbledon as he wanted to concentrate on the men’s circuit.

The move paid off for Yuki, who has been making waves on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit, winning four titles at home. In fact, his last ITF title came two weeks back as a tune-up for the junior US Open.

But the youngster is not taking the challenge at the Flushing Meadows lightly.

“I think it is going to be tough this time around as the field is much stronger. I have to be at my best. The courts are going to be a bit slower, and the faster I adapt the better,” Yuki told IANS.

“I had a good training session at Nick Bollettieri Academy last month where the coaches worked on my strokes and net play. I also got to hit with Tommy Hass and play a few sets with Radek Stepanek. I have the confidence that I can win my second junior Slam but I can’t take anything for granted.”

Yuki, in January, had become the first Indian to win a junior title at Melbourne Park and fourth to win a junior Grand Slam.

Ramesh Krishnan had won junior Wimbledon and French Open in 1979 while Leander Paes was the last Indian to win a junior Grand Slam when he won the Wimbledon boys’ title in 1990 and the US Open in 1991 as a 17-year-old.

The Delhi boy will be looking to join that elite club.

“It is definitely a matter of pride to win two Grand Slams. But I am not thinking about it. The fact that it could be my last junior Grand Slam, though I might play Wimbledon next year, is a motivating factor.”

“But as of now I am focussing on my first match here. If I clear the first couple of rounds, then I should be fine.”