Yuki may skip Asian Games

India's Yuki Bhambri is likely to skip the upcoming Asian Games. DH FILE PHOTO

India’s top men’s singles player Yuki Bhambri may skip the upcoming Asian Games at Jakarta, beginning August 18.

The 93-ranked Indian, who is in hot form, is keen to participate in the US Open, the last Grand Slam of the year, provided he gets into the main draw. The US Open begins on August 27 in New York. The tennis competition of the Asian Games will be held from August 19-25 at Jakabaring City, Palembang.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) selection committee will be meeting on June 4 in the capital to pick the teams for the Asian Games. While all players are believed to have made themselves available for the quadrennial fiesta, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over Yuki’s participation.

“It’s not that he doesn’t want to play. He also confirmed his availability but stated his desire to play in the US Open if he makes it to the main draw. With both events nearly overlapping, it will be too much of a travel and too short a time to fly to US Open from Asian Games. We will be speaking to him once more before taking a decision. All other players are available for selection,” AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee told DH.

The 25-year-old Yuki is in the midst of a fine run. He has beaten a few top players, including Lucas Pouille, at the Indian Wells apart from qualifying for his second Masters 1000 event at Miami. He is currently playing in the French Open, where he became only the second Indian to qualify for men’s singles main draw after Somdev Devvarman in 2013. In fact, his was a last-minute dash to Roland Garros courtesy the title win at $150,000 Santaizi Challenger in Chinese Taipei which helped him reach his career-best ranking of 83.

In the previous edition of the Asian Games in 2014, Yuki had won two medals. He won the bronze in the men’s singles after going down to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the semifinals. He also won the bronze in men’s doubles with Divij Sharan as his partner.

Meanwhile, Chatterjee expressed his satisfaction on the inclusion of seven tennis players in the TOPS scheme. “We will be trying for more. We expect those selected for the Asian Games will get the TOPS funding at least till the  the Games,” he said.

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