Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni have been complementing each other very well since they paired up at the start of this season. They have won a couple of ITF tournaments back in India and a challenger in Salinas, Ecuador. They are into the QFs at Morelos, Mexico and are looking for a strong finish here. We got a chance to speak with them after their first round win.
What are your thoughts on the match today ?
Saketh: The first match in altitude is always tough. We started serving better. I struggled a little in the beginning. Yuki kept us in the match, it’s always good to play with him. We play different styles and complement each other.
Yuki: It’s still a bit of work in progress. I think altitude does affect things a little bit. It’s difficult for both of us to control the balls. We have to put in a little bit of that extra focus when we play. And that’s what we’ve been focusing on. I think if we hold serve, it just put us in a good spot for the rest of the tournament.
How do you guys like playing in Mexico and Central America ?
Yuki: Different. Its obviously a lot of traveling, very far from home. Usually for us, it all ends in America. That is the farthest we’ve ever been. So far so good. We did end up playing in America, two weeks on clay and we had a really good start in Salinas in Ecuador. That helps things and sets the tone for the rest of the weeks.
You won the Salinas Challenger. You made the quarters in Sarasota and Tallahassee, and here in Morelos, at least the quarters. Hopefully, you will go all the way. What are your thoughts on the momentum there?
Yuki: Yeah, every week we’ve been getting better, since the futures tournaments as well. We were predominantly used to playing more singles. So at least for me, it’s a little bit of an adjustment switching to doubles. We have different plays, attack in different ways. Every week its just been getting better and better and hopefully we can keep continuing and carry on.
Saketh: It was tough to play on clay, having the green clay in America. We hadn’t played much on it, and it was a little challenging. We could have done better, especially in the first Challenger in Sarasota. Tallahassee was a tough match.The opponents played really well there. We’re back on hard courts and also playing in a little bit of altitude now. So we have to change and play better. In doubles, playing the big points well is crucial. Whoever plays those better, wins. Hopefully we do well this week and complement each other.
What are your thoughts about your partnership with each other ? You have known each other for a very long time. Do you like you guys intend to continue playing this year ?
Yuki: I hope so. I really enjoy playing with Saketh. We’ve known each other for a very long time and every time we’ve played, we’ve had good success. If our calendars match and the schedule matches then, absolutely.
Saketh: I’m going to mix it up as well. I have to get back in shape. Doubles is a little easier and less physical on the body. We want to play as much as possible. I missed two years because of covid, didn’t travel anywhere. Getting back is never easy. Playing tournaments and getting success is not easy at all. So we’re taking small steps at a time just to compete, be healthy and get better.
Yuki, you’re going to be moving on to Europe, playing doubles with Ramkumar Ramanathan, also playing the qualifying for the French open. While you’re playing a lot of doubles, how do you manage getting ready for singles ?
Yuki: I do keep practicing my singles. I want to keep staying competitive as well. With the French coming up, I wanted to play singles here, I didn’t get in. I wanted to play singles in Salinas, we arrived really late. I am going to try and enter more tournaments and hopefully get at least a match before the French.
What are both of your schedules going to look like, summer onwards, Any grass court tournaments ?
Yuki: My schedule is going to be back to playing more singles from July, once the US swing starts. I’m definitely going to be playing in a tournament. Maybe even two okay. I don’t think I’ll be going straight into Wimbledon without playing on grass.
Saketh: If hard court tournaments open up quickly. I think I know the schedule (with a laugh). Clay courts are trickier. The clay season is a little bit of a challenger for me. I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s probably going to be mostly European tournaments in May, because there’s not much happening in North America. As far as grass goes, I don’t have anything planned on schedule as of now.
Yuki, How’s your knee ? You were also playing with an elbow strap, how is that ?
Yuki: The elbow has been totally okay. With the knee, some days are good and some days are challenging. Though, more good than bad, which is encouraging.