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Yuki to focus more on men's circuit

January 31, 2009 14:30 IST

The fourth Indian to win a junior Grand Slam title and the first to do it at the Australian Open, Yuki Bhambri on Saturday said he would now focus on graduating to the men's circuit.

"Even if I wouldn't have won it, I had already planned to focus more on men's tournaments, playing more in the men's circuit. I might still just play the Grand Slams," the 16-year-old top seed, who clinched the title after beating Germany's Alexandros-Ferdinandos Georgoudas 6-3, 6-1, said after the match.

The triumph put the Delhi-lad in a long list of former Australian Open junior champions who have made it big in the men's circuit including Andy Roddick, Marcos Baghdatis and Gael Monfils.

The debilitating heat at the Melbourne Park may have left stalwarts like Novak Djokovic exhausted but Yuki said the searing temperature was no big deal for him.

"Being an Indian, in this way it's kind of helpful. You can't really get used to the heat, but you're playing in similar conditions," he said.

Asked how it feels to be the first Indian junior singles' title winner, Yuki said he wasn't aware of the fact when he stepped into the court for the final match.

"Winning the Australian Open is obviously a very big achievement, regardless of being the first Indian. I mean, that's actually news to me. But I dreamed of winning it, and it's come true," he said.

Yuki said he was initially nervous playing on the big courts at Melbourne Park but gradually got used to the large crowds and enjoyed the overwhelming atmosphere during the final.

"Well, I was actually quite nervous in the beginning. That was the first time actually playing on such a huge stadium. As the game and match progressed I felt much comfortable over there," Yuki said.

"I think the crowd's always backing you up. You're quite motivated to do well on these courts. You obviously enjoy playing in front of a lot of people," he added.

Yuki said he didn't know anything about his opponent and focussed on his own game rather than finding chinks in his German rival's armour in the title clash.

"Actually I hadn't seen or heard of him before. But, I mean, I knew a little bit about him. I had seen him play yesterday in the semis, so I knew a bit about him.

"I just wanted to focus on my game. I knew it was a big match, so whoever probably put more balls in the court would probably win the match. That was my aim, and to try and cut down unforced errors," he explained.

Yuki turned in a dominating performance to beat Georgoudas 6-3, 6-1 in only 57 minutes, overpowering his opponent with trademark forehand and volley tactics.

The win also made amends for the Indian's semi-final exit at the 2008 Australian Open, where he lost to eventual junior champion and local favourite Bernard Tomic.

Yuki was quick to control play from the very start, using his speed to force Georgoudas into a pace the German was clearly uncomfortable with.

Georgoudas found it next to impossible to win a point off the top seed's serve in the opening game. The second set followed a similar script and Yuki took hardly any time in going 2-0 up.

The Indian broke Georgoudas again in the sixth game, and other than a double fault in his final service game, he had no problems finishing the championship off.

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