“My goal is to crack the WTA Top 300 this year” – Zeel Desai, after her run to the final in Tunisia

One of India’s best talents and a former top 20 Junior, Zeel made a solid return to the pro tour by reaching the finals in her first tourney since the Covid break.

Zeel lost the finals to Salma Djoubri (FRA, 685) with a scoreline of 46 63 26 in a tough 3 setter. Zeel had also reached the doubles semis in this tourney.

Excerpts from a chat after the final :

Q) What are the difficulties one has to face as a player when they are back on circuit after a long time?

I think the most difficult parts are to get the match form back and have to get that match confidence back, especially in the crucial points and crucial moments in the match

Q) You had a long week with 5 matches in singles and 3 matches in doubles. How did you maintain the fitness level before playing every match?

So during my pre season I was working a lot on my fitness specially. Altevol(where she trains now) they focus a lot on fitness so I was working really hard over there and during my match week I was just focusing on lite fitness, on stability and recovery more

Q) Talking about your semis match against the top seed which you won comfortably. Do you had a different mindset for that game?

I didn’t change anything in my game but I think I was much more stable mentally so I think that helped me a lot that day

Q) Finals was a close one as you both won almost same number of total points. What do you think went wrong in the final set?

Yes It was a really close match and she was also playing really good. Her backhand was really good comparatively. I was playing aggressive so maybe because of that I made couple of errors which she also did but I think I made it on a crucial time, that was the case

Q) You recently started training in Altevol Alexander Waske Tennis University. How has the shift been?

Yes I have been training there since one and a half months and it is going really good. They focus on every aspect such as fitness, recovery, Tennis – which I think is really balanced.

Q) This is the start of your season. Do you have any particular goal set for this season?

My goal this year is to reach top-3 in India and WTA Top-300

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