Yuki top seed in juniors at the Australian Open

January 24th, 2009 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 24 (IANS) India’s Yuki Bhambri has been top seeded in the juniors singles at the Australian Open, clearly marking him down as a player to watch out. Yuki has made waves on the circuit after his semi-final appearance in the previous edition at Melbourne Park and he is a player on the upward curve, rising to become the World No. 2.

He certainly does not lack the self-motivation and determination to do well when he opens against German Sanchez Delfin of Mexico as the juniors events get underway Sunday.

The 16-year-old Indian knows a bit of Delfin, who is also from the Nick Bollettieri Academy which has been the training base of Yuki.

The Delhi youngster, who won the prestigious Osaka Mayor Cup and then the highly rated Orange Bowl Tennis Championship last season, said he is looking forward to taking on Delfin.

“I am well aware of German’s game. We have hit with each other a lot at the Bollettieri. He is a very good baseliner and has a good first-serve percentage. I will have to be aggressive against him,” Yuki told IANS.

Yuki, though, did not have the ideal tune-up as he lost in the first round to eventual runner-up Justin Eleveld of the Netherlands in the Optus Nottinghill International.

“It was my first event here, so it took me some time to settle down. The conditions here are quite windy and I am trying to acclimatise.”

After last year’s thrilling experience, Yuki has worked hard for this year’s event and hopes to claim his maiden junior Grand Slam title.

“Every player in the top-50 is good and has the potential to beat anyone. But I will try and give my best in all the Grand Slams this year. I am hoping to win one this year.”

Yuki said his stint at the Bollettieri Centre has helped him improve his game.

“At Bollettieri, one gets to play different players. I hit against the top-100 guys including Ivo Karlovic and Kei Nishikori. You get the best of facilities and training as a player.”

“I have been good from the baseline and I have worked on my serve and volley to tighten my game. My serve now has more punch and that helps in getting easy service points.”

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