India No. 2 Ramkumar Ramanathan fought his heart out against top seed and World No. 6 Marin Cilic, going down 4-6 3-6. There was a decent turnout for this match, despite the Maharashtra Bandh affecting the city. The tennis lovers were treated to some delightful tennis.
When asked about the crowd, Ramkumar said “It’s always good to play here in Pune. They always come out to support good tennis. I really enjoy taking the support of the crowd. It really helps in 30-30, deuce points. It can really make a difference.”
In fact, at one point, people thought that Ram could run Cilic really close. Cilic was serving for the 1st set at 5-3, but Ram played a spectacular return game to break him back, rekindling hopes of winning the first set. The crowd really got into it, and Cilic surely would have felt the heat.
But Cilic being the champion he is, made his move in the very next game. He broke Ramkumar’s serve to love, and never looked back thereafter. The second set was one-way traffic, with Cilic breaking Ram’s serve once to drive home the win.
All in all, Ramkumar needs a lot of work on his backhand, as mentioned by Cilic after the match. On being asked about Ramkumar’s game, Cilic said, “Ram has a very good forehand and a very good serve. He was putting his second serves in aggressively. But his backhand needs to become more consistent.”
ATP 250 TATA OPEN MAHARASHTRA
[R2] Ramkumar Ramanathan(IND,142) lost to Marin Cilic(CRO,6) 4-6 3-6
[R1] Yuki Bhambri (IND)/ Divij Sharan (IND) beat Laslo Djere (SRB)/ Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-2 6-2