Tennis

Ankita reminisces Bhambri family’s tennis journey

M. Balachandran and Ankita Bhambri.

M. Balachandran and Ankita Bhambri.  

Expresses confidence that Yuki will be back to his best

Yuki Bhambri may be the most famous name in the family, but it was the lessons learnt from the tennis journeys of sisters Ankita and Sanaa that set up the foundation for his career. Yuki was the country’s No. 1 among men, after having shown early promise, as a world No. 1 junior and Australian Open junior crown winner.

Ankita Bhambri, more familiar as the coach of the current Fed Cup team which qualified for the World Group playoff, went on a nostalgic journey in an Instagram conversation with coach M. Balachandran.

Career prime

Ankita had competed in the Asian junior final against Sania Mirza. Along with Sania, she took India to fifth place in the world in the Junior Fed Cup under-16 event on European clay. Ankita won more than a dozen titles in singles and doubles, but had to step back at her prime. “What Yuki has done is phenomenal. We don’t tell him that. He has been injured for a while. Once he is back, he will continue to reach the heights. He is very talented and very sharp,” said Ankita, who was equally proud of younger sister Sanaa who after tennis has flourished in the marketing world in the United States.

Ankita recalled that she learnt the advantages of training in the evening during tournaments and strategising for the next match from the week-long training with Balachandran in Pune in 2002.

“I had just about made the Masters of the $5,000 circuit, as I had lost in the first or second round for three weeks. My dad had arranged training with you for that week. I won that tournament,” said Ankita.

Importance of education

She also recalled the significant role played by her father Dr. Chander. In making Sanaa and her study in the car during the 30-minute drive to the tennis centre daily, he had ensured that education was not neglected. She stressed that education had a big role in developing a player, as much as training. “It keeps you focused and disciplined,” she said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:49:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/ankita-reminisces-bhambri-familys-tennis-journey/article31806711.ece

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