Indian tennis player Yuki Bhambri was stitching together a string of fine performances on the ATP Tour in 2018 when a knee injury brought an abrupt halt to his season.
The injury - tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon) - would soon aggravate and that ruled him out for about 18 months.
A surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation later, the former top-ranked player in the country was hoping to make a return to competitive tennis around the clay-court swing this year but the coronavirus pandemic put an end to his plans.
But his long time coach Stephen Koon believes that Yuki Bambhri is not daunted when faced with the challenge. “Yuki is not done yet. His peak is yet to come,” he said on an Instagram chat.
The 27-year-old Indian was running high on confidence in 2018 with quality wins at the ATP events in Indian Wells and Miami.
The year also saw him make the main draw for the four Grand Slams and break into the top 100 on the ATP Rankings chart. But soon after the US Open, the Indian tennis player’s season would come crashing down with the injury.
Injury, a telling blow for Yuki Bhambri
While the injury was a tough blow to take for Yuki Bambhri, what frustrated him the most was that it took a while before Angel Ruiz-Cotorro, the man who has treated Rafael Nadal for long, could get the diagnosis right. Something that his coach believes pushed him further back.
“Yuki knows how to win. His ball control and the way he takes the ball early are special. He didn’t get the right physios and doctors to fix things. He would have made it but (he) got injured in Surbiton (at the ATP Challenger).
“He played Queens on one leg. In Wimbledon, despite the injury, he managed to take a set off Thomas Fabian,” said the Thailand-based Koon, who has trained several top-100 players in the past.
Having watched the former world number 83 in action for a while, Koon knows that his ward is putting in the hard yards despite the setbacks and is eager to get back on to the circuit.
“When tennis resumes after the pandemic, Yuki will be ready,” he said.