Ramkumar Ramanathan, Yuki Bhambri have potential to be top-100 players, says Vijay Amritraj

Vijay Amritraj on future of Indian tennis
Yuki Bhambri plays against compatriot Sriram Balaji during the first round of Bengaluru Open 2017Photo:PTI

Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj said youngsters Ramanathan Ramkumar and Yuki Bhambri had improved a lot this year and have the potential to be top-100 players. “They (Ram and Yuki) have done well this year. Ram has definitely improved, no question. They have it in them to be in the top 100. The next two years will be crucial for them,” he told PTI on Tuesday. Amritraj said he got to watch Ramkumar play in Kolkata a few days ago. 

“He has got better and is maturing. There are many areas in which he can improve,” he said. 

A lot of his progress will depend on how committed and determined he is, the former Davis Cupper, who launched the Vijay Amritraj Reserve collection of wine said. 

Indian players tend to mature late and are at their best probably between 27 and 32, he said. 

“Indian players tend to mature physically in their late 20s. If you have an attacking game by then, like Ram and Yuki do, it makes a difference when you are physically stronger. Their best years will come between 27-32,” he added. 

Apart from Chennai’s Ramkumar and Yuki, he said Saketh Myneni too has a good chance of doing well. 

It depends on how much hard work they put in and the discipline they show apart from physical and mental capabilities. 

“Of course, there is potential. A lot comes down to the hard work (they put in) apart from the discipline they show. Also, they need to get a few breaks.” 

On the possibility of Ram, Yuki and the others doing well on the tour, Amritraj said they need to ensure that they don’t overplay or underplay. Apart from physical capabilities, the mental capability also is key. 

About India not being able to enter the Davis Cup World Group, he said the country needs three-four good singles players, who will be able to win the singles matches. 

“For that, we have to have guys in the top 100. Getting to the World Group is tough and staying there is even tougher,” he said. 

“We need good singles players if India has to do well in Davis Cup World Group as the top players take part and have to look beyond only doubles,” he added. 

India has not able to go past the playoffs in the last four years, losing to Serbia, the Czech Republic, Spain and Canada. 

Amritraj hailed Roger Federer’s resurgence and his amazing run in 2017. He expected former world No.1 Novak Djokovic to come back strongly after his struggles this season. 

“Am flabbergasted with the desire shown by Roger (Federer) and the hard work he put in. Some two years ago, he and Rafa (Nadal) were written off and they have come back very strongly,” he said.

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