Tennis

Tennis | Sasikumar Mukund aiming for consistentcy

Sasikumar Mukund. File

Sasikumar Mukund. File

Running into the top seed and bowing out in the first qualifying round of the ATP Tour event in Pune was a chastening experience, but the 25-year-old Sasikumar Mukund is confident that he can make his game count this season.

With two Challengers scheduled in Bengaluru after the Tata Open Maharashtra, Sasikumar, who was ranked a career-best 229 in October 2019, felt he would get consistent results to “get a taste of the Grand Slam qualifying events”.

“My game is much better than ever before. In 2019, I played 30 Challenger main draws. If I play that now, I would be close to the top-100. I am much fitter, wiser and smarter. Of course, I am much older, and that adds to it,” he said.

Having played the final of the Challenger in Italy recently, Sasikumar felt that years of hard work, and the sincere efforts of his coach Martin Spottl, will pay off in the form of more consistent results.

Quality

“In Italy, I played some good tennis, even though I was sick. I was on antibiotics but luck was on my side. I was very happy with the quality of my game. Although I tested negative for COVID-19, I had throat pain and fever. I was very happy that I stayed mentally strong to make the final.”

Training in Vienna and playing around the world, with the coach travelling with him for most of the events last year, Sasikumar felt he was getting a better grip on the competitive circuit.

He did miss the Davis Cup against Finland, but clarified that it was owing to visa issues.

“I didn’t have a visa for Europe. I communicated this very clearly. I didn’t want to forego a five-year European visa for a temporary arrangement as I was not going to play the tie. Ramkumar and Prajnesh were healthy. Saketh was also available. I am always willing to play for the country. But I also have to think about the coach who has committed his time, forgetting his family,” reasoned Mukund.


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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 5:22:04 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/tennis-sasikumar-mukund-aiming-for-consistentcy/article38355578.ece