Rising Indian star Mukund Sasikumar has had a fantastic 2019 season - earning a maiden Davis Cup call-up for the World Group Playoff tie against Italy in Kolkata, making his first ATP Challenger final, taking part in his first ATP Tour event.
Knocking at the Top-200 door, Sasikumar spoke about his 2019 season, reflecting on what has been a fruitful season. “A few months back I didn’t know how to volley. A lot of work has gone in. I cannot expect perfection in a matter of months.
It’s just been a few months since I have been working on variety, the more and more I do it I will get better”. “One match, win or lose, is not going to change my life. But five or six years down the line, I have to learn the art of playing similar even on tight situations.
A Challenger match can go any way. But if I want to play big rounds in the Slams, I have to know to smack balls in tight moments. Once when I played in Stuttgart, Lucas Pouille(top-20 at that time) told me “At one level it’s riskier to play safer”.
That’s a fact. I have to learn to do my job better in tight moments and optimise my chances”. Speaking about reaching his first Challenger final, he said, “Every day was a challenge. There were many, many moments when I was freaking out.
But I came back and I made that final in China, a good comeback I think. There were times when I went to the extreme of negativity, but I also know that it could turn around in one week. And I did just that”. Commenting on Indian tennis, he added, “I think things are now better.
Hopefully Yuki gets back, Sumit has almost made it and knocking at top-100. If I am injury free I should also soon be knocking there. Praj(Prajnesh Gunneswaran) hopefully gets out of this tough situation and gets back on Tour soon.