World No. 184 Ramkumar Ramanathan is planning to fly to Australia on Tuesday as he is determined to play his best tennis at Melbourne Park. Ramanathan didn't make the main draw cut for the Australian Open so he will have to win three qualifying matches in order to secure a main draw spot at Melbourne Park.
Ramanathan featured in Australian Open qualifying six times and never managed to make the main draw. "I will leave for Australia on Tuesday. The aim is to deliver my best and keep improving," Ramanathan told the Times of India.
Ramanathan makes an interesting claim
Ramanathan, who turned professional in 2009, claims the Challenger Tour is tougher than the ATP Tour. “I’ve played the Challenger tournaments as well as ATP events and the difference (in competition levels) is not much.
Challengers are tougher, if you ask me. The fire (to win) in each player is a lot more in Challengers. Sometimes, being a seeded player in an ATP tournament --- you can get away in a match here or there as they (your opponent) may not try harder.
The grind and challenges in a Challenger event are immense,” Ramanathan claimed. Ramanathan has never been ranked inside the top-100 as his career-high ranking saw him ranked at No. 111 in the world. “I just want to be healthy and play a lot of matches like I’ve been doing the last few years.
If I can get into the top-100, nothing like that. I believe if I keep playing well and keep growing as a player --- I can crack that barrier,” Ramanathan added. Speaking of upcoming tie against Denmark, India's Ramanathan said: “Denmark is a strong team with players such as Holger Rune and Mikael Torpegaard.
However, we are going to be playing on grass which was a collective decision by the coaches and players. I feel it will work in our favor."