Indian tennis star Yuki Bhambri has decided to miss the Tata Maharashtra Open set to be played in Pune. The move comes in after the 26-year-old couldn’t recover from his knee injury in time for the start of the season.
Bhambri picked up the injury at the start of the second half of the season, quite possibly at the ATP London. He started that event as a qualifier and made it to the main draw. In his opening match against Milos Raonic, Bhambri was forced to retire early in the second set.
Thereafter, he played in only three competitions over the remainder of the year – the Wimbledon, the US Open, and the European Open. On all three instances, the highest-ranked Indian on the singles tour failed to move past the first round.
His injuries also kept him out of several other Challenger events like the Bengaluru Open, ATP Challenger Pune, and the ATP Challenger event in Kobe, Japan.
It is definitely quite disappointing for Bhambri and all Indian fans who were hoping to see him in action soon. He had a pretty solid start to his 2018 season and would have hoped to carry the momentum through the year.
His most notable stint came at the Challenger event in Chennai earlier this year, where he was the runner-up. Shortly after that stint, he reached the third round at the Indian Wells as a qualifier. After defeating the likes of Nicolas Mahut and Lucas Pouille there, he was ultimately defeated by Sam Querrey.
He had a similar run at the Miami Masters as well and soon followed that performance with a winning feat at the ATP Challenger event in Taipei. These feats helped him move up in the rankings and by May, he had broken into the top 100. This also helped him get a direct entry to the main draw at all the three subsequent Grand Slams.
He reached his career-high singles ranking as the World No. 83 in April. His rise, however, was halted by his knee injury. He fell out of the top 100 after missing out on the second half of the season. It is expected that the Indian will provide an update on his injury by the start of the 2019 season.