Will Yuki now attract sponsors?

February 1st, 2009 - 7:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Feb 1 (IANS) Yuki Bhambri might have overnight earned a star status after becoming the first Indian to win the junior Australian Open, but his mother is unsure whether it will be enough to attract sponsors to finance his fledgling tennis career.Yuki, before leaving for Melbourne, had said how he was struggling to meet his travelling expenses because of lack of sponsors.

The International Management Group (IMG) has been supporting the youngster by arranging his training at one of best academies in the tennis business, the Nick Bollettieri Centre in the US, besides getting international contracts from Babolat and Adidas.

“My parents are worried as my schedule is getting more and more hectic. AITA (All India Tennis Association) helps me for the Grand Slams but that is it. I approached quite a few sponsors but no one is willing to come forward. I don’t understand why,” Yuki had told IANS.

Yuki’s mother Indu said though her son’s feat has made news all over the country, chances of any sponsors coming forward appear bleak.

“Honestly, I am not hopeful. I have never seen in India any financial support on a sportperson’s achievement. Had it been in abroad, they would have immediately announced some award. Yuki, too, deserves it but I am afraid if anything of that kind is going to happen,” she said.

The family is now eagerly waiting for Yuki who is due to return Monday morning amid media frenzy.

“He had initially decided to play in two ITF tournaments there, but felt exhausted after his win and decided to return,” said an excited Indu, who since Yuki’s triumph has barely got a chance to speak to him with all the media attention on the family.

“Yuki’s win has gradually begun to sink in. We are yet to decide how we will celebrate his return tomorrow. His sisters Ankita and Sanaa too are quite excited,” Indu said. Both sisters are national level tennis players.

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