Yuki overwhelmed by crowd support at Melbourne

February 2nd, 2009 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) Junior Australian Open champion Yuki Bhambri, who returned home Monday, said he was touched by the overwhelming crowd support he received during his matches at the Melbourne Park.”I was 1-4 down in the second set against Adrien Puget in the semi-final but the crowd was constantly behind me, cheering me up for every point I won and it helped me to comeback in the match. I am really thankful to them,” said Yuki.

The 16-year-old Delhi boy Saturday became the fourth Indian after Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan and Leander Paes to win a junior Grand Slam and first to win the junior Australian Open.

Yuki had made no bones about wanting to win a major junior title this year, but even he could not have realised that his dream would be fulfilled in 2009’s first Grand Slam event.

“I was confident that I can win a Grand Slam. I have worked hard for six years. Before going for the Australian Open, I worked on my fitness, my serve and volleys,” he pointed out.

“But even I did not know that it will come so soon and in this way. I feel really proud of myself,” Yuki told IANS.

The youngster received a rousing welcome on his return and he admits to be taken aback.

“I never expected such a reception. It is amazing. I never thought so many people will turn out at the airport. The feeling of my achievement finally sunk in today.”

Yuki is yet to plan his next move but said he is looking forward to play at the Nasdaq Open for which he received a wildcard by winning the prestigious under-18 Orange Bowl tournament in December 2008.

“As I said earlier, I will now be focussing on the men’s tennis. I was to stay back at Australia for two more weeks to play the ITF tournaments but the heat there got to me. Also I was tired and wanted a break. So I decided to return.

“I am targeting Nasdaq Open next. I am very excited about that,” he said.

Yuki, who idolises World No.1 Rafael Nadal, was delighted over the Spaniards Australian Open win.

“I love watching Nadal. I saw the whole Australian Open final. I admire his fighting ability, the way he can retrieve almost every shot,” Yuki pointed out.

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