Ram Between Tennis and Textbooks

The Economics student from Loyola College catches time between matches as he prepares for his semester exams in April

Published: 04th January 2014 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th January 2014 08:15 AM   |  A+A-


Do you know what the kid who sent tournament favourite (at least among the Indian players) Somdev Devverman packing has in his tennis bag? Economics text books. That’s right. But you can’t really blame him, considering he’s 19 and will soon have to sit down to write his end-of-semester exams in April. “When I go to tournaments through the college year, I carry my textbooks with me and try to get some study time in between matches,” let’s on the supremely shy and mildly embarassed Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Ram, is pursuing a degree in Economics at the Loyola college and is doing his second year now. But isn’t attendance an issue with all these tennis tourneys? “They’re very nice about the attendance and let me travel for tournaments. But I’m not a bad student either as I get 60-70% on most of my papers,” says the boy who grew in T Nagar.

Without being granted a wild card into this year’s Chennai Open, the lad who had a ranking of 536 before the tournament worked his way through the qualifiers and actually downed Somdev Devvarman in an epic 2-hour long three-set match earlier this week. Though he crashes out in singles and doubles in the pre-quarterfinals, the elation hasn’t died, “I swear I never even dreamt that I would get this far. It’s like a dream,” he says.

Watching his game unfurl, people have started likening him to Somdev himself for his ‘top-seed slaying’. Somdev had managed to slay quite a few tennis pros during his ascent to the top 100 over the past few years. Ask him how the high-spirited Som had taken the loss, Ram says, “He was really nice and polite. He congratulated me and even called me later to wish me for the new year. The next day when we won a doubles match, he came up to me and said good going.”

With the Chennai crowd firmly rooting for the tall lanky lad, and the prospect of a good run in pro tennis ahead, Ram says that his dreams are actually beginning to take shape. Most of them except one, he admits, “I want to play against Roger Federer someday,” he sighs.


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