Self-Belief Key to Victory, Says Chennai Lad - The New Indian Express

Self-Belief Key to Victory, Says Chennai Lad

Published: 01st January 2014 03:03 AM

Last Updated: 01st January 2014 09:57 AM

The first match of the season can always be tricky as players come after a long break. Some manage to shed the rustiness, while some others bite the dust.

Ramkumar RAmanathan celebrating after winning his match against Somdev | R Satish Babu/EPS
Pablo Carreno Busta, named Most Improved Player of the Year in 2013 by the ATP, suffered a shock defeat against Yuki Bhambri in the first round of Chennai Open.  Soon after, qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan defeated Somdev Devvarman ranked 90 in the world.

It was a splendid performance by Ramkumar, who has been regularly training in Spain and competing in various tournaments abroad. This exposure benefited him. “I believed myself coming into this match and it worked for me. Initially, I did not get my first serves right, but as the game progressed I grew in confidence and played better, ‘’ said an elated Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Somdev blamed the defeat on not being “fired up enough’’ for the first match of the season. “I have to give it (credit) to him. He played well. He had a good serve and was good at groundstrokes. He was better prepared as he had played a quite a few tournaments in the lead-up to the Chennai Open,’’ pointed out Somdev. Ramkumar says he needs to improve his serve and backhand to make inroads into the tournament. Somdev, meanwhile, believes he should “probably not think too much about this”.

Yuki delivers

Yuki, who has been in tremendous form in the recent past, continued from where he had left by scripting the first major upset in this edition of the meet.

“He has been playing well and winning tournaments. That flow continued here. It was a brilliant effort against a higher ranked opponent. Apart from being broken in the first set, his game was precise and good for the remainder of the match,” said former India star Ramesh Krishnan.

Yuki was delighted to start on a winning note. “I played to my strength. I proved that numbers don’t always matter on the court,” he said. Yuki admitted the key was in playing his potent forehand judiciously. “I was a bit nervous in the first set, not knowing much about my opponent. But I found I had to make him run to his backhand corner and that’s what I did,” said Yuki.

His coach Aditya Sachdeva felt as the match progressed, his ward improved. “He has a better backhand play than his rival today. Plus, he got the better of his opponent in the baseline duel,” he noted.

             >> Ramkumar Leads Charge of Underdogs

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