I am favourite to win US Open Jr title: Yuki

Yuki Bhambri has no doubt that a second junior Grand Slam title is coming his way when he competes in probably his last junior event at the US Open.

updated: August 31, 2009 15:50 IST
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New Delhi:

Making a smooth transition from junior to senior level, a confident Yuki Bhambri has no doubt that a second junior Grand Slam title is coming his way when he competes in probably his last junior event at the US Open.

"Yes I am one of the favourites to win the title," the junior world number one said before catching the flight to the United States.

Since winning his maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Januray this year, the Delhi teenager has taken giant strides to establish himself on the men's circuit.

Now that he is all set to compete in the last Grand Slam of the year, the confidence and authourity with which he speaks has the backing of a strong peformace behind him.

In the last five months, he won four ITF Future singles title and became the second youngest player to break into the top-500 in the men's ranking. He is also in the list of top-five singles players of the country.

His fourth title came just on Saturday when he beat Vishnu Vardhan at the DLTA Complex.

And this is enough motivation for him to believe that he stands a realistic chance to win the US Open.

"I think I have come a long way from that Australian Open win. Six-eight months have passed and the results (four titles) show that there is improvement. I am only hoping to get better," he said.

The 17-year-old said playing the senior circuit has helped him learn the nuances of the game which will give him an edge when he plays the junior circuit.

"I have become much mature. I have learnt how to change game plan and play according to the situation. I am more agile on the court and have got power in my shots

"When you play seniors who are 25-26 years old, fully developed and serve really big, it helps in taking on the junior players who are still growing. And beating the seniors gives a lot of confidence," Yuki, a class XI student, said.

However, the teenager is not taking things for granted.

"The top 30 juniors in the world are very good. See Bernard Tomic (of Australia). He is already into top-300 in the world. So, it's not that there is no competition, but I have the game to match it," he said.

Talk about pressure in wake of high hopes the media and his family has from him and he says, "I have already put a lot of pressure on myself and there is no need to add more. When I take the court I want to win every match, I think that's enough pressure. But I enjoy playing before my family members. It acts as a motivation."

Yuki said the success at the senior circuit in the last few months has driven him to work harder.

"The recognition, the name you get is a reward (of hard work). It motivates to start the new week from Monday afresh. When people llok up to you, clap for you it really motivates," he said.