“My target is to make the Top 200 and Qualies of Slams by next year” – Pranjala, after qualifying for the $25K L&T Mumbai Open

Young Pranjala Yadlapalli has been on a role the past few weeks. After winning back-to-back ITF $25K titles in Lagos, Nigeria, she conjured up two impressive wins to qualify for the main draw of the WTA 125K L&T Mumbai Open.

On being asked about the conditions in Mumbai and how they were different from Lagos, Nigeria :

“We came here quite early after the win in Lagos and got time to settle. As Indians, we are used to the heat and humidity so it didn’t take me time to get used to the conditions.

On the routine win against Mihika in the first qualifying round :

“We have played each other so many times over the years and know each other’s games inside out so i’m happy with today’s result and the way i played.”

On being asked if she was disappointed that a wild card was not offered by the tournament despite two back to back 25K wins in Nigeria, she showed exceptional maturity and answered: 

“No, I’m not disappointed at all, the tournament’s got their priorities and commitments to manage. Besides, i just broke into the top 300 and i might have to play the qualifying at other big events in the future too so this experience could help me gain some confidence if i make it to the main draw. Also, what if i got a wildcard and draw against one of the top seeds and go out in the first round? This way i can get some points and its good practice for future tournaments so I’m not disappointed at all.”.

On being asked about the training in Thailand and any ranking goals for 2019, she answered:

“I really like it there, we have facilities in Thailand that i don’t have back home in Hyderabad and He(Stephen Noon, her coach) only takes a select few players over there and the quality of training is very good so I’m quite happy to do my off season there.

Next year, i definitely want to play the qualies in Slams, so i will be targeting the top 200 for sure and work on my fitness and my game so i can get there.”

Mahak Jain Q&A after the first qualifying round win:

On the 10 min heat break rule and the time out in the first set, she said:

“It definitely helped me as the conditions were quite difficult today. it was really hot so it helped to get a time out to change and refresh a bit.”

On being asked about her opponent’s medical time out and whether it was a conscious decision to lengthen the points to test her a bit :

“No, its just that i don’t have any big weapons unfortunately, i don’t have a big forehand or anything to close out points so i have to rely on getting the balls back and my movement and defence to draw out the errors. Thankfully it worked today but it was a really close match and could have gone either way towards the end.”

On the home support and whether it was a factor in getting a win, she replied with a smile, “. Yeah i had my uncle and some relatives come out to support me, so i like playing here in Mumbai, this way my family gets to watch me that is not possible in other parts of the world. So yeah, being cheered on by my relatives and family members certainly helped today”

Pranjala takes on Thai Number One Luksika Kumkhum in the first round of the main draw on Wednesday.

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