Ramkumar Ramanathan speaks to coach Emilio Sanchez after winning four back-to-back UTR Pro Tennis Series events taking place at the Sanchez Casal Academy in Naples, Florida, USA. Excerpts –
Q) How was your experience playing in the UTR tournaments here in Florida?
I really enjoyed my last four weeks at the Sanchez Casal Academy, like all the other players. I got to play a lot of matches against a few good players. It was a good pre-season for me, especially with you being here everyday. We are blessed to have your guidance. ASC is like a second home for me
It might appear that I’m winning easy but the pressure is always there – during the match, before the match. You have to play matches everyday. It was on clay, so there would always be a lot of balls that you have to play. 6 matches in 7 days – it looks easy but it’s a battle.
Q) What would be your advice to young kids planning to take up the sport professionally?
Tennis is a tough sport. So you really need to enjoy the journey because you are going to lose a lot of matches. You will need to accept the losses and persevere. It is not an easy journey
Q) How would you comparing practicing to playing a match?
I think they are very different. In the matches, there are lots of nerves that you need to deal with. And then there are other factors like wind, sun, etc. For someone like me, it’s very tough to focus during practice sessions but I try my best when you are around, because of the respect that I have for you
But playing matches helps you become sharper and that’s the key
Emilio Sanchez – Ram, I wish you the best for the upcoming Australian Open Qualifying event