Yuki in Australian Open final, confident of pulling it off

January 30th, 2009 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 30 (IANS) India’s Yuki Bhambri made a sensational semi-final appearance in the junior Australian Open tennis last year. He went a step further Friday reaching the final. And he certainly does not want to stop here. The junior World No.2 says he is confident of winning the title this time around. Yuki, the top seed, Friday swept aside seventh-seeded France’s Adrien Puget 6-4,6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam final.

In the final, Yuki plays Germany’s Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas who pulled off a shock 6-4, 6-4, win over second seed Julen Uriguen of Guatemala.

“It was a tough match, I was 1-4 down in the second set. It was pretty hot out there, but I stuck it out to win. It is yet to sink in that I am in the final,” Yuki told IANS.

Before the start of the championship, Yuki said he was confident of winning at least one Junior Grand Slam title this year, but he was not sure which one. He is now very close to winning it here itself, having made all the hard work to reach the final.

“I am confident of winning. I have always gone into a Grand Slam with a positive mind. I am a vastly improved player since my semi-final here last year.”

Talking about the final, Yuki said he had not played Georgoudas before, but is confident of carrying on his good work in the championship to its logical conclusion.

“I have never played him, but I expect it to be a good match. Whoever cuts down on errors will win,” said Yuki, who won the under-18 Orange Bowl and Osaka Mayor’s Cup last year.

Yuki, who went out in the second round of Optus Nottinghill,the warm up tournament before the start of Australian Open, admits not getting off to an ideal start but is happy to hung on.

“It was very windy at Nottinghill. It was becoming difficult to put the ball in court let alone going for shots.

“I found the first match of championship really tough. I took time to settle in but held on. The win in the first round gave me a lot of confidence, ” he said.

Yuki’s doubles campaign with Chinese Taipei’s Liang-Chi Huang, where the two got the top billing, however, came to an end when they lost 3-6,1-6 to Russia’s Mikhal Biryukov and Japanese Yasutaka Uchiyama.

“They were very good. They didn’t give us any chance, but playing in doubles helped me in my singles play,” Yuki said.

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