Purav/Ramkumar take Pune crown ; back-to-back Challenger titles for the pair

Top seeds Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan won their second doubles title in as many weeks at the KPIT MSLTA Pune Challenger hosted at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune. Purav and Ramkumar faced some tough opposition from local boy Arjun Kadhe and tour veteran Saketh Myneni in the first set with consecutive breaks of serve being exchanged. Purav and Ram proved to be more solid in the tiebreak taking it 7-3.

Ram/Purav and Arjun/Saketh with Mr. Kishor Patil, CEO of KPIT, title sponsors of the event (Credits – Jacob Nedumchira)

Purav’s thoughts on what was the deciding factor in the finals : “Today was all about belief.  We’d won 7 matches when we came into the finals. Our opponents (already) knew all of our weaknesses, they knew when to push us forward. As we go along I’m finding a better way to hold my serve with Ram since he doesn’t need much holding. I’m adequate at the net to make do for him. On my serve we’re working on cleaning up a few things. On the return we’re both very dangerous. I’ve not played with this good of a tennis player for a long time.”

Highlights from the final

When asked about forming a long term partnership with Ram, Purav said  “Its tough to form a long term partnership with the way the singles tournaments (are structured). He’s a bit young to focus only on doubles. Whenever we get a chance to play, I’d look to play with him. I hope to be able to help him out with a few things and I hope he can teach me a few more things as well.”

Purav and Ram (Credits – Jacob Nedumchira)

Ram’s thoughts on the match and the partnership : “The most important thing is to have fun. When I play with Purav, you have a flow when you’re playing and thats very important.  Purav is there when I miss a shot, and I’m there when he misses. These things make a lot of difference on deuces, on break points. Of course you need a bit of luck as well. At 4-4 I missed a shot and it could have gone anywhere. We still kept fighting, we were serving well. We were covering the net really well, finishing off volleys. I’m learning a lot and its working well. Its good to win two weeks in a row. With 1 point deuces and super tiebreaks winning 8 matches in a row isn’t easy.”

Arjun and Saketh (Credits – Jacob Nedumchira)

On which of the wins (Kobe last week vs Pune this week) was tougher, Purav mentioned “I wish there was any easy match. Each match is tough”

Ram on how playing both doubles and singles affects his game : “Its always good to play both singles and doubles. Physically I’m doing fine playing two matches in the same day. Till I’m fit, I feel I should be playing doubles along with singles.”


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