India's re-entry into the Davis Cup World Group after a gap of 11 years, not only reinforced Somdev Devvarman's abilities to stand up and be counted when it mattered the most, but also allowed people a sneak-peak into India's brightest new talent on the court: Yuki Bhambri.
This article is the second instalment in the two part collaborative piece that AntiMatter came up with; in his side of the story, he talks about the mechanics of this 17 year-old's game while this article attempts to prognosticate about what and where Yuki could be in the days to come.
Yuki's first taste of success came at this year's Junior Australian Open, when he, as the second seed, captured his first Grand Slam singles title and thereby became the first Indian junior player to win the Australian Open.
Thereafter, he hasn't looked back and right now, currently seeded first, is looking forward to add more accolades, not only to his name but also to his country's credit.
In India's Davis Cup World Group Playoff against South Africa, Yuki got a chance to display his ample talent against the South African Izak Van Der Merwe in the second reverse rubber tie.
The significance of the reverse rubber might not mean anything- considering that India had already secured their 2010 World Group position, when Somdev Devvarman won his reverse rubber encounter in a thrilling five setter-but for Yuki, the relevance penetrates far more in deep, as it gave him an opportunity to play in a tournament of such a large magnitude.
It gave him an exposure, a lesson of sorts which could help him in the days to come especially when he becomes a pro in the next year or two.
Winning in the juniors does provide a stepping stool for the stage of pro tennis, but at the same time, it's a point worth noting that not all junior level Grand Slam champions have been able to emulate the same success in their seniors' career.
And this is what Yuki needs to concentrate on in order to gain a berth in the upper echelons of the sport in the years to follow. He needs to not only do well in the juniors, but also try and capitalise on the opportunities on the seniors' front-as, and when, he is given the chance.
And while, Yuki looks to concentrate on this aspect, it is very important that he has a support system that hones and nurtures his talent to showcase it to the world. Just having talent isn't enough, it's equally important to make its sheen one of the very resplendent ones to stare at the face.
This particular aspect is very pivotal because being a tennis player in a country that follows cricket with a fanatic fervour, it shouldn't happen that the name of Yuki Bhambri disappears in the mist of the willow and the ball.
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