It was a tough time for Ramkumar Ramanathan on the professional Tour, post lockdown. But things fell into place just in time for him to celebrate a memorable 26th birthday as he reached the singles final of the €88,520 Challenger (indoor carpet) in Eckental, Germany
There was no icing on the cake, as he was beaten in the final on his birthday on Sunday. Yet, he was grateful to have found some much-needed rhythm.
“In tennis, you can’t really predict when you will win or lose. But, I am happy with the way I played. I stayed aggressive all week. It did hurt to lose the final on my birthday, but it was a good gift for me to have had a great week,” said Ramkumar who has now moved to 185 in rankings.
Ramkumar was happy to have served strong the whole week, hitting 52 aces. “I was happy to be the leader for aces.” He was grateful to doubles partner Purav Raja for staying back with him till the semifinals in Germany.
He was moved by the gesture of his friends from the core group who sent him a birthday cake and some goodies. “I want to thank our entire core group for being so supportive, surprising me with goodies and a cake. And for cheering me up after a tough loss.”
The Babolat and Indian Oil Corporation athlete also pointed out that it was for the 224th day that the group was having a simultaneous workout, despite being in different parts of the world.
“They sent me a 12-minute video, with almost everyone wishing me on my birthday. It really touched me,” said Ramkumar. He also thanked his family and coach T. Chandrasekaran for their constant support.
He will next fly to USA for tournaments in North Carolina and Orlando.