India’s tennis player Yuki Bhambri on Monday denied there was any pressure on him for retaining his place in the squad after losing two matches in the Davis Cup World Group Playoff against Serbia, which the hosts lost 2-3.
“I don’t think so,” he told reporters at the post-match press conference at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) stadium in Bangalore.
Yuki lost to Filip Krajinovic 3-6 4-6 4-6 as the 2010 champions reclaimed their place in the World Group.
With this, India’s agonising wait to return to the World Group continued as they lost 2-3 to Serbia in the rain-hit playoff tie after Yuki surrendered tamely in the decisive fifth rubber against Krajinovic.
Even if there is pressure, Yuki said it is good because more and more players coming up is better for Indian tennis.
“If there is pressure it is good because more people coming up is better for Indian tennis. If Ram Kumar is the guy so better be it. He is a good player, and we will see a lot more of him in future, especially playing Davis Cup in the future,” he said.
Yuki further said he was more disappointed with himself as he could not deliver while the rest of the players won matches for the country.
“Of course there was disappointment on the very first day when I lost the match. I am also disappointed now. More disappointment that everybody fought so hard and I was not able to deliver. That’s how the game is. Hopefully, I will get chances in the future,” he said.
Talking about his loss to Krajinovic, Yuki said he had been in similar situations in the past.
“I had my chances. I have got used to being in that position. Yeah I had chances but I could not capitalise on it.
Usually I make them, but did not do them in last three days of the tie,” he said.
“It was lot to do with too many unforced errors. Ten years of my tennis probably the amount of mistakes I made this last two day was enormous,” Yuki added.
The losing Indian player said he gave hundred per cent when he came out to play against Krajinovic after rain intervened on Sunday night.
“I was ready. My feet was moving, but my game just wasn’t there in both the matches of the tie. Backhand was good but the forehand was off target,” he said.
Compared to Krajinovic who had a sleepless night, Yuki said, “I did (sleep) because I was so tired last(Sunday) night. I slept with Somdev (Devvarman).”
Asked if early matches could have favoured India’s fortunes, Yuki replied in the negative.
“Not really. There wasn’t much of a difference. I was looking forward to it after the Som and Leander Paes-Rohan Bopanna matches. Serbia were under pressure. I just couldn’t execute my shots.”
He also said never in the match he felt bogged down, but tried hanging in there.
“Not really. I tried to hang in there. I tried to change a bit, but I wasn’t able to put ball into the court regularly,” he said.
Asked whether he lacked spirit playing against Krajinovic, Yuki said he was on the contrary feeling great, but could not hit the balls cleanly enough.
“I really don’t think there is something wrong. I had enough matches. I was feeling great, but I was not able to hit the ball cleanly,” he said.
And about his thoughts on India getting back into the elite group from here, Yuki said the team has to start all over again.
“Well we have to start all over again. Hopefully we will see through this time. It is a great team and at least we have got the doubles players and Som who is been performing for the last couple of years – you can rely on him to beat the top guys and hopefully I can chip in again from time to time,” he said.
About his off-court relationship with Krajinovic, Yuki said, “We know each other since the age of 14. We have practised a number of times together. We have lived together as well.
We went for junior tournaments and played together.
He has done very well this year. He is rushing into the top 100 bracket,” he said.
Asked about his future plans, Yuki said he would be playing in the Asian Games and Challengers and try to maintain his ranking.
“I am going to play the Asian Games. I did very well this time of last year and try to maintain my ranking. In October, I am playing Challengers,” he said.