Bhambri family feels elevated and happy

January 31st, 2009 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Yuki in Japanese means courage and snow. The youngest of the Bhambri siblings showed both grit and cool temperament in ample measure on his way to becoming the first Indian to win a junior Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.It was the most awaited moment for the family here. Yet an air of disbelief loomed at their residence when the news of Yuki’s triumph broke early for a winter morning.

“The feeling is yet to sink in. We were always confident that Yuki has it in him to win the title. We are extremely proud of him. I am a very happy mother, just the way every mother would be when her child does well. I can’t wait to hug him,” a proud Indu Bhambri told IANS.

Yuki’s elder siblings, Ankita and Sanaa, both national tennis champions, are in Perth for the Federation Cup.

Watching her sisters play Yuki learnt his first tennis lessons. And when Ankita and Sanaa used to go for practice, a young Yuki used to merrily tag along.

“He used to collect tennis balls with me when Ankita and Sanaa used to practice. One day, when he was five year old, I handed him an old tennis racquet and from there his tennis journey began,” Indu recalled.

A journey which has been quite eventful and holds promise. Yuki gave a glimpse of his potential last year when he reached the semi-final of the Australian Open. He carried on the momentum throughout the year winning Osaka Mayor’s Cup in October and then went on to win the prestigious Orange Bowl under-18 tournament, considered as the fifth Grand Slam.

“He was surprised to find that many tennis greats have won the Orange Bowl,” Indu said.

And he finished the year just the way he had started, becoming the World No.2 junior.

This year Yuki will be focussing on the men’s tennis and will stay in Australia to play a couple of ITF tournaments.

“He will be playing in lots of men’s ITF events this year. He will begin with lesser prize money tournaments, say the $10,000 or $15,000, and then will gradually graduate to a higher level,” Indu said.

For her aunt Shelly Bhambri, it will take time to get used to so much media attention.

“We feel so elevated and happy. The media has been thronging our place since morning. We are all here eagerly waiting for Yuki to return,” she said.

Yuki had trouble getting enough sponsors, but he proved a point with his title win Saturday. Hope the sponsors are watching.

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