Tennis

Yuki Bhambri to miss Wimbledon

Yuki Bhambri.

Yuki Bhambri.  

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The country’s best singles player, the 144th ranked Yuki Bhambri, continues to be troubled by a painful tennis elbow and will miss Wimbledon.

Nominated in the Davis Cup squad for the Asia Oceania group-I tie against Korea to be played on grass in Chandigarh from July 15 to 17, Bhambri said he had hoped to be ready in time for the crucial tie that will see the winner in a World Group play-off match.

“It is definitely getting better, but there is still pain and discomfort”, Bhambri said, when asked about his injury.

It was in the middle of March that Bhambri retired from a second-round match in the Guangzhou Challenger with a painful elbow, and pulled out of the doubles (partnering Saketh Myneni) quarterfinal too.

Bhambri, who turns 24 on July 4, had missed about two and a half months prior to the Australian Open, when the problem had first cropped at the end of a successful 2015 season that saw him climb to a career-best rank of 88, with the help of three Challenger titles.

He struggled for some time to get into the competitive rhythm at the start of the season but looked to have settled into winning ways when he clinched the doubles title with Mahesh Bhupathi in the Delhi Open Challenger and later made the semifinals of the Zhuhai Challenger in China.

Before Zuhai, he even stretched Lukas Rosol at the Dubai Open ATP Tour event, losing his way from a winning position.

Bhambri was ranked a career-best 138 in doubles after he reached the pre-quarterfinals of the Australian Open on a wild card with Michael Venus of New Zealand in 2014.

His doubles rank has slipped to 246 now.

Uncertainty of recovery

After monitoring progress on the elbow week by week, Bhambri had planned to return by Wimbledon, but the uncertainty of the recovery has forced him to further delay his comeback.

“I am getting treated and am not sure when I will be back. Davis Cup will be the first event, if I am ready by then”, Bhambri said.

With the 145th-ranked Saketh Myneni also grappling with a shoulder injury and having to take time off prior to the Roland Garros qualifying events and afterwards, it may not exactly be a problem of plenty for the seven-member squad that was selected for the Davis Cup tie.

Of course, the 28-year-old Myneni has since returned to the circuit, and he played the Surbiton Challenger last week, but it remains to be seen as to how well he shapes up for Wimbledon.

Ramkumar Ramanathan, Vishnu Vardhan, Sumit Nagal, Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes are the other members of the Davis Cup squad that was announced along with the Olympic nominations by the All India Tennis Association.

It will be an agonising wait over the next few weeks for Indian tennis.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 1:13:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/Yuki-Bhambri-to-miss-Wimbledon/article14426010.ece

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