Arjun Kadhe has had a tough last few months as he was stuck in India during the 2nd wave, and did not have an opportunity to play tournaments or even train much, given the lockdown situation. But he’s managed to make his way to Europe and is looking at playing tournaments regularly over the next few weeks.
We caught up with him along the sidelines of the ATP Braunschweig Challenger in Germany. Excerpts:
Q) You’ve played just three tournaments over the last three months…
They let me inside the country after a very difficult Covid-19 scenario in India, so naturally I had to go in for a 6-day quarantine and straight for the first tournament with less practice and played the second at Braunschweig in Germany. Three months were tough honestly as staying in India we were not allowed to train much due to the strict lockdown but we found some opportunity to go to Hyderabad for 10 days to practice after that it was tough but now that I am here, I’m very happy and fit of course, excited for the upcoming tournaments, so let’s see where it heads.
Q) Given the visa issues Indians are having to face, how tough was it for you to procure a visa to come to Europe? Can you describe that process in a little detail?
No, I had a long-term visa already so that was not a big problem for me, just that I had to book a ticket and make sure they allow me inside Germany, of course I had to quarantine for 6 days and that’s it.
Q) You had cracked top-160 in doubles as a 25-year-old and were looking set to be a Grand Slam participant in a couple of years before you turned focus towards singles. What was the thought process during that phase – how do you review the progress from that journey?
I think it was important for me because I was ranked 160 and was playing singles and doubles pretty good and then tournament planning did not go well as I did not perform enough in challengers so it goes hand in hand, that one year- 2019 was pretty tough, then Covid-19 struck, I think if you have the game and willingness to work hard, the results will fall and as a matter of playing with the right people, training the right way with the right attitude and always working hard. So, now my goal is not only top 100 but also to eventually play the slams continuously.
Q) How does your tournament schedule look from here on?
Right now, wherever I get an entry to be honest, because it is very tough to plan. Currently, I am 250 in doubles and I would like to get closer to 200 in the next couple of months at least. I don’t have a fixed partner at the moment so wherever I can get an entry I really want to play more matches with every match I will efficiently feel better. As this is the second match or the first match rather, I would like to say first match because playing after a span of 3 months, and It was already not bad. I could see a lot of positives and I’m excited to play more tournaments and get some good wins.
Q) How is the body coping with fitness and other things?
Yes, my body feels completely fine, although there was a strict lockdown for 3 months and being at home, I was training very hard to keep myself active. That’s why I’m here to play more in Europe, so the more matches I play, I feel I will be sharper as match fitness is not what you get while you be at home and do home workouts. So, I feel like playing more matches will get me in sharper and into the match rhythm. Maybe till August I will play tournaments in Europe and maybe then look for the American swing tournaments.