Looking back at the year 2016, Indian Davis Cupper Saketh Myneni says he is very happy with the progress he has made in the last 8-9 months.
“I have made great progress during the last 8-9 months. I have worked really hard on my fitness over the last two years and it has gradually started to pay off,” says Saketh as he gears up for the Chennai Open, starting here at the SDAT Stadium from January 2.
“I feel good about the way things are going so I am working on the smaller things now. Things that will give my game an edge,” he added.
The reigning Asian Games mixed doubles gold and men’s doubles silver medallist had a highly fruitful 2016 and wants to make the coming year even more special.
“I had a great year, starting with the Aussie Open. I had a wonderful hard court season as well. But unfortunately, injuries took a toll by the end of the tour. I have had a good off-season in November and make an early, good start here in Chennai, then the Aussie Open and move forward,” he said.
Saketh, who has been given a wild card along with Ramkumar Ramanathan for the singles, revealed that even before his sensational run through the US Open qualifiers and the eventual fall in the first round in five sets, he has been focussing on getting better at five-setters.
“I am trying to reach a situation where I can maintain intensity for 2-3 hours. It’s very tough but I am trying to work on that, especially the nutrition part,” he said.
The World No. 194 believes that he doesn’t have to make too many changes to his game or to his approach to get into the top 100.
“You have to trust the system that you have created. Try to follow what you have. If you doubt your own situation, it’s not a good thing,” he stressed.
The 29-year-old is delighted to be an integral part of the Davis Cup team, playing both the singles and doubles.
“It hasn’t really changed my life but I love team sports. If I have the chance I will do anything to help anybody. It comes naturally to me. I want to keep myself in such a space that I am able to come out and play any time my captain asks me to,” he said.
Saketh conceded that life was not easy for an India player as a tennis pro.
“We Indians are all very talented. We can go to the next level on the physical aspect though. But for that you need a team around you. It can be a coach, a physio and a trainer. The sad thing is it’s very expensive. We cannot afford to take so many along,” said Saketh.