Bhambri not interested in Djokovic's plan for lower ranking players
PUNE: It's been an unusually long layoff for Yuki Bhambri .
I think everyone is sick of me being home, he jokes. No one is used to having me around for so long. Everyone expected him to be there for a few weeks and back off again.
But being away from tennis for 18 months and continuing is no laughing matter. Bhambri has not played a match since his first round loss at the Antwerp ATP event in October 2018.
If you can see everything with a sense of humor, it is largely thanks to Angel Ruiz Cortorro, the Spanish sports doctor who is the ideal man for Rafael Nadal and many other better athletes.
thatspectacularphaseincludedvictoriesovergaelmonfilsandguidopella(washington,2017); Nicolas Mahut &lucaspouille(indianwells,2018); and Thanasi Kokkinakis (Surbiton Challenger, 2018).
In that sense, knee tendinitis could not have come at a worse time.
At the time, yes, it is obviously frustrating. I was playing well and I was at a stage where I was ready to make a bigger jump at least in my ranking.
I was looking forward to the hard court season in America, playing all the ATPs for the first time ... all the Masters.
I felt like I had a chance to really move up the ranking in the next two to three months. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't move forward when I could.
WIMBLEDON IN A LEG
The knee started to bother Bhambri when the turf season started with the Surbiton Challenger.
When Queen's arrived, he was already playing on one leg, said the boy from Delhi.
He still beat Taylor Fritz in the second round of the prestigious ATP event, losing to Milos Raonic in the next.
The knee had swollen when Wimbledon arrived. He had a two-week break, during which he could practice minimal.
It would be the last tournament for a while. It's easier when you know it's a tournament, rather than having to play a full season, he said.
I literally hit my coach (Stephen Koon) on one side of the court, just to make sure I had my rhythm and feel.
Then I practiced a bit playing doubles with my doubles friends, just feeling my service and the pitch, volleys and my returns. But minimal.
Incredibly, he would take off Thomas Fabbiano before losing in the first round.
With so much pain and suffering, couldn't it have stopped?
It was because it is Wimbledon, my first appearance. It's something you've worked for (for) most of your life, and finally when you try it, you do it with one leg and one hand tied behind your back.
It was about enduring the pain. I talked to the doctors, they said it couldn't get worse. I wasn't going to if it was a torn ligament or something that could get worse.
NO IN FAVOR OF THE BIG 3 PLAN
Bhambri said that not everyone on the Tour was in favor of Big 3's idea of creating a fund to help lower-ranking players cope with the Covid-19 disruption.
I think it is difficult to move forward with what they have done. From what I've heard, there are a lot of players who have reservations about it.
People would be really happier to give the money to the people who fight on the front line, the health workers or the workers, people who need help, instead of random tennis players all over the world with whom you compete .
Instead, Bhambri said players should come together and negotiate for a bigger share of the prize pool for Grand Slams and other major tournaments.
I think the best way is to try to increase the prize money now. It is the peanuts that earn most of the tour, or the income that the Grand Slams and Masters generate.
You must increase the back end of the tournaments, not add another million dollars to the winner. It's $ 3.5mn (for the Grand Slam winner), don't think it matters anymore.
I should go to the qualifiers, first and fourth round winners at Slams. That is much better than the one-time payment of five ten thousand dollars.
The pandemic has also exposed the lack of system in Indian tennis. Bhambri, however, refused to insist on the negative.
I don't look at it anymore. It really doesn't make sense. You can't blame that as the reason I haven't improved or failed. I would never do that.
It is better than it was. The VK Foundation is funding Karman (Kaur Thandi), Sumit (Nagal) and (Sasikumar) Mukund. I don't think we've had a ton of players funded together.
But in general, what a tennis player requires must be a collective effort of everyone and that is not there.