Mukund Sasikumar moved to R2 of the ATP Koblenz Open Challenger in Germany with a straight set win over former Junior World No.5 Filip Cristian Jianu of Romania with a scoreline of 63 62.
Surya Raj caught up with Mukund to get his thoughts on the match and the conditions at play.
Thoughts on the match.
I played much better than yesterday. I am getting used to the conditions with time. It was a shaky start but I am happy that I started playing better and was able to hold through the match without too many loose points.
In your previous match, you were 4-6 4-4 0-40 down on serve and on the brink of defeat but then you won 5 points in a row. Your thoughts.
It was a bad match tennis-wise but I am really happy that I stuck in there, didn’t lose too much hope and was trying to play the best that I could. The match could have gone either way – I am just happy that it went my way.
Today I got a new chance and I took it. Tomorrow is another new challenge.
You had played against Ergi Kirkin in Pune last year and won 6-0 & 6-2. This was a much closer match. What do you think was the difference?
It could have been the similar score had more of my shots gone in, like they did in Pune. I was controlling the points more often than not in both the matches. It was just that, yesterday, I missed much more.
Any thoughts on the playing surface – is it playing faster or slower than what you anticipated?
This is my first time playing on the indoor hard in Europe. I played futures but not a challenger. So coming in, I did not have any reference point.
You played last week in Bengaluru, a high altitude playing arena where the ball would fly in such thin air and now in Koblenz in indoor court. How big is the adjustment?
It is a big adjustment compared to Bengaluru. Indoors is comfortable to play in general. I can hit through my shots much more easily here.
Thoughts on your next match against Lucas Miedler?
I would have to step-up my level compared to the last two matches. I know him well, he is a good friend. I am just going to go out there and play as it comes.