Ramanathan Ramkumar should build on the win over world number eight player Dominic Thiem in the Anatlya Open and it should give him confidence to keep up the good work, feels former India Davis Cup captain Ramesh Krishnan. Ramkumar had beaten Thiem 6-3 6-2 in the pre-quarters of the Anatlya Open. He bowed out of the competition after losing to Marcus Baghdatis in a close match.
“The win over Thiem is Ramkumar’s biggest win. I hope he can build on that. Too bad he could not get past Baghdatis. This should give Ramkumar the confidence to keep up with his good work,” Krishnan told PTI.
The former India Davis Cup captain said that it would have been great if Ramkumar had beat Baghdatis as well. Krishnan once beat then world number one and top-seed Mats Wilander at the Australian Open in 1989.
Talking about the upcoming Wimbledon, Krisghnan said that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal will be the players to beat at the Championships. He added that it was amazing to see the form both players have been in the recent past.
“It is quite amazing to see the form that Federer and Nadal have been in. They are the two best players on form now,” Krishnan said. “It is an interesting Wimbledon with the top four seeds as former champions. Nadal is in top form but has not played any matches on grass. Federer has missed the whole clay court season which is a big gamble. Murray and Djokovic are struggling to get back to top form,” he said.
Ramkumar had been drawing praise from all quarters and Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) Chief Executive Officer H K Joshi also said that he is one og the game’s rising starts.
“It is one of the best wins by an Indian players. He has made us proud. He played very well to defeat Thiem. He should have won the next match too (against Baghdatis). This can give him a lot of confidence to push his career forward,” he said. “He had sort of stagnated after beating Somdev Devvarnan a few years ago at the Chennai Open and this victory (in Antalya) could be the catalyst he needed to put his career and rankings back on the upward curve. He needs to be more consistent,” Joshi said.
“The serve is Ram’s biggest weapon and he needs to work on consistency. If his serve is working well, he can win matches. The key is to have fewer off days and maintain a high level of play day in and day out, which the best do. It is important for him to maintain focus and play to his strengths,” he said.
“This year (Ramkumar) has played a lot more three-set matches, which is a good sign. Apart from consistency, work has to be done on his fitness too. He does have the ability to do well at the highest level. But for that he has to start believing in himself and his abilities. Maybe the win over Thiem could do that…,” the TNTA CEO said.
(With PTI inputs)