Things don’t seem to be going Yuki Bhambri’s way of late. Last month, cramps led the 20-year-old to concede his match when at the brink of victory at the Doha Futures final. On Thursday, a sprained ankle hampered his chances of making the semifinals of the ITF $15000 Futures event in Chandigarh.
Playing against compatriot Vijayant Malik in the quarterfinals, the top seed lost 4-6, 0-6. For the 23-year-old seventh seed, a former CHART trainee, this was a big victory, on paper. “I don’t think Yuki was fit,” was the shy lad’s humble reply.
What had happened was, Bhambri landed on his ankle wrong while playing Austin Karosi of the US in the pre-quarters, on Wednesday. The swelling remains, and Bhambri braved the pain at the CLTA courts. “Yuki was unable to run much. I think his foot was paining,” explained Malik. The two know each other’s game because they practice together in Delhi.
After Chandigarh, while most of the Indian players will leave for Uzbekistan for two weeks of Challengers, Malik will play a Futures event in Rohtak before heading off to Uzbekistan. “I need to gain a few points because my ranking is still low,” Malik said.
Bhambri, whose itinerary included the Challengers, isn’t sure of his participation. “He’ll take the call tomorrow, most probably because the ankle still needs a few days of rest,” his mother Indu informed. Bhambri has had his fair share of injuries over the past few years.