Australian Open champ Yuki returns to hero’s welcome

February 2nd, 2009 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) Yuki Bhambri had left Indian shores for the Australian Open unnoticed, but Monday he returned home as a star amid a frenzied reception that clearly left the junior champion pleasantly surprised.Yuki became the first Indian player to win the junior Australian Open and that made him India’s latest sporting hero overnight.

The 16-year-old had no clue what awaited him when he touched down at the Indira Gandhi International airport with coach Aditya Sachdeva in the morning.

An electrifying ambience greeted him outside with loud music and hordes of media contingent running over each other to have his first byte, a reception normally reserved only for cricketers.

Yuki’s family and officials of All India Tennis Association were present, but he could hardly speak to them as he was jostled and mobbed by the media before he made a hasty retreat.

“We never expected this kind of rousing welcome. It is overwhelming. He has done the country proud. Now the whole nation will look up to him for bigger laurels and he will have to do more hard work to live up to the expectation,” Yuki’s father, Chander Bhambri told IANS.

“We hardly got time to talk to Yuki since he has won the tournament. There is so much of excitement surrounding him now. We have been talking to media non-stop. It is really maddening. But all the adulation that he is getting makes us feel proud.”

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