After a two-week stint at the prestigious Nick Bollettieri Academy at Florida, Yuki Bhambri feels he is well prepared for the two back-to-back $15,000 International Tennis Federation (ITF) men's Futures that begin at the DLTA complex here Monday.
Yuki, who won successive ITF titles here in April-May, skipped the the junior Wimbledon earlier this month to focus on the men's tour.
"I always enjoy playing at home. After the two ITF tournaments here, I did not play many matches. At the Bollettieri, I played two to three sets everyday to remain match sharp. I have got a decent draw this week and if I manage to pull off couple of early rounds, I feel I can have a realistic chance," Yuki told IANS.
Fourth-seeded Yuki will open against American of Indian-origin Ashwin Kumar Tuesday.
The 16-year-old junior Australian Open champion said he has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained last month.
Asked how he plans to cope with the hot and humid conditions here, Yuki said: "It took me couple of days to get used to the heat after my return. The earlier I adjust to the conditions and the turf here, the better for me. It rained today, so hopefully the temperature might come down in the coming week."
Besides Yuki, another Indian in the draw who has been performing consistently is Vishnu Vardhan. Vardhan, who made it to the semi-final and the final of the two events here, carried his form into the Kuwait ITF tournament where he reached the semi-final. He also made a quarter-final appearance at Malaysia ITF last week. Vardhan is second-seeded and plays Briton Maniel Bains in the first round.
The 462nd-ranked Japanese Kento Takeuchi has got the top billing and faces Indian N. Prashanth in the first round.
Four Indians -Vivek Shokeen, Ronak Manuja, Abhijeet Tiwari, S. Narayanaswany - have been given the wild cards.