RAMKUMAR RAMANATHAN PLAYED a vital role in helping his team Raipur Rangers win the men’s doubles set against Mumbai Tennis Masters in the Champions Tennis League (CTL) yesterday.
Initially, things didn’t look too promising for the visitors, but a spirited fight back from the Rangers brought them back in the hunt. Relieved and thrilled after the win, Ramanathan said,
“The team spirit was excellence; we were fighting. Playing alongside a legend like Thomas Muster, this makes you give more. It’s a wonderful feeling. We practiced yesterday, we are all feeling fantastic. All these players are very experienced, Saketh (Myneni) and Marcos (Baghdatis) played last year and we will try with our heart and soul, give it everything and if we stay focused and play every point to the best of our abilities, we can win this tournament.”
The 21-year old also believed that his experience of playing in the inaugural season has helped him.
“It’s a team game; first year was a little tricky for me. I didnt know what to do; now I am getting the hang of it, enjoying it and that’s why I think I am playing well. Today, playing alongside Bautista, I learnt a few tricks of the trade (like moving in after a few shots and attacking the net) normally we don’t do that in the Challengers or Futures.”
Known as one of the big servers on the ATP Challenger tour, Ramanathan served some thunderbolts and also demonstrated wonderful skills at the net against the Masters.
Speaking on his biggest weapon, the current singles world no.273 said,
“Yes, I have been working a lot on my serves and volleys, especially, after an early loss at a tournament. But I have a lot more to work on. I am training hard with my coach in Spain. I have my base in Barcelona. I practice there, whenever I am not travelling for tournaments.”
Reflecting on the year 2015, the Tamil Nadu lad said,
“2015 was a very fast paced year for me; I guess it was a reasonable year with mixed results, played in the qualifiers of the Slams and won a few rounds.”
Looking ahead into the next year, Ramanathan is hopeful of graduating to the next level and is also working on a few, finer aspects of the game,
“I am working on my upper body to get stronger. I also need to work on my backhand. For starters, my goal is to play at the ATP Chennai Open; hopefully I can get a Wild Card entry, but we’ll see how it goes. Then, moving on to the Australian Open qualifiers, I want to keep winning and play many more Challengers going ahead. At the moment everything is going well.”