Pune: Ramkumar Ramanathan introduced himself on the big stage with an identity of a big serve player when he played his first Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group One tie against New Zealand at Balewadi Tennis Complex in February this year and from there on he has never looked back.
Ramanathan has impressed all with his tenacious game and has kept improving his ranking after every tournament.
He is back in Pune, to take part in the 250ATP Series Tata Open Maharashtra where he has got wildcard entry in the main draw and will play his first match against Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain.
“I came to Pune for the first time in 2016 for ATP Challenger and played doubles partnering Leander Peas. I lost into second round but it was a good feeling playing with Peas,” Ramananthan told to Sakal Times in an exclusive interview.
“Since then it was really hard work, playing so many matches. I played in India, played Davis Cup ties and I also played in the US and Europe. And, playing in different countries and training hard… that’s how it has continued till now” explained Ramanathan who has played 35-40 week of tennis in 2017.
By playing continuous tennis Ramanathan has matured and has learnt to tackle emotions.
“Things have changed a lot in last two years. Everyday is different. Some day you win when you play good tennis, but sometime it is completely opposite of it. I have learnt to deal with all the things.”
In his early days, Ram has played with Leander Paes and also played under the then non-playing Davis Cup captain Anand Amritraj and Mahesh Bhupati in Davis Cup ties. That is something helped him become a matured player.
“It always helps to play around senior players as you learn to focus on small things in detail. You realise when to work hard and when to not.” added Ram.
The Chennai-based player Ramanathan, who started his year with 270th ranked has risen to 148 and he is happy to have an injury-free year.
“2017 was a mix year for me. I am happy that I played 35 to 40 week of tennis and I stayed injury free. Starting the year with the ranking of 270 and ending Under 150 satisfies me and I hope to give my best in coming tournament,” added Ramanathan, who will take part in Australian Open qualifiers after Tata Open Maharashtra.
Ramanathan’s performance in 2017
* Won the final of Singapore F2 Futures against Raymond Sarlento of United States.
* Won the final of Singapore F3 Futures against Hu Nichloas of Unites States.
* Lost in final of KPIT MSLTA $50,000 ATP Challenger against Yuki Bhambri.
* Lost in the final of Nilsen Pro Tennis Championship $75,000 ATP Challenger against Akira Santillan.
* Lost in quarterfinal of Antalya Open against Marcos Baghdatis.