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After fall down the ladder, Sanam targets return to form and peak fitness

At the Central Polytechnic grounds in Taramani, a timid-looking man wearing a light blue shirt was voicing his frustrations on Wednesday, despite reaching the semifinals of the Justice PS Kailasam MGC International Mens Futures tournament.

Published: 17th September 2016 05:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2016 05:23 AM   |  A+A-

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CHENNAI: At the Central Polytechnic grounds in Taramani, a timid-looking man wearing a light blue shirt was voicing his frustrations on Wednesday, despite reaching the semifinals of the Justice PS Kailasam MGC International Mens Futures tournament.

The shock and disbelief after poor shot selection and returns were clear on his face. Suddenly, a racquet was flung towards the net, an action that earned him a disciplinary caution.

Form having deserted him, it must have been hard for Sanam Singh to start from scratch. But he sounded really positive.

“It’s been a while since I played here. Earlier, I was playing Challengers. This year, my rankings dropped from 266 to 474. Right now, my aim is to get back to form and move up the rankings, and playing futures is the best way to do it,” he said.

“At the beginning of the year, I lost some close matches. It’s been tough, but this is common in tennis. Having taken a month-and-a-half long break, I’m going to train hard and finish as high as possible this year,” added the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist.

For someone who played at the top level for most of his life, Sanam’s fall has been drastic. Two years ago, the Haryana man was playing at the US Open.

“For every player, the dream is to play at the Major tournaments. I was almost there (US Open) last year. Also, I was five to ten matches away from going to the Australian Open,” he told Express.

After bowing down to Sriram Balaji in the semifinals, Sanam’s hopes of coming up the ranks were further dented. With humidity playing its role, it was difficult to stay hydrated. Lacking match fitness, the 28-year-old feels he needs to get more action on court.

“Match fitness comes only by playing more. I’m planning to make maximum use of the off-season. I don’t have a personal trainer, and work with Abhimanyu sir in Delhi right now. I’ve also worked with a Serbian trainer called Milos.

“He has been at the highest level for many years, and has lots of experience. I’m not saying Indian trainers are bad, as they have superb knowledge. But working with so many international stars has given Milos the edge. Hopefully, I can make good use of all the advice and technical changes and come back stronger.”

 vimalsankar@newindianexpress.com

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