India No.1 Ramkumar Ramanathan had started off with a robust 6-3 6-2 upset win over 9th seeded Yannick Hanfmann at the Roland Garros Qualifying, but could not keep up the momentum in the 2nd round. Ramanathan lost to a 18 year old French wildcard, Sean Cuenin, who’s been a Top 10 junior player in the world. Ramanathan had his chances, being up a break in the first set, but eventually lost 6-7(6), 4-6.
Ramanathan spoke to us after the match. Excerpts below:
Q) Thoughts on the match
I think it was a very close match. I had my chances. He was a good player and had the entire crowd’s support (Cuenin is French), which obviously helped him. But I thought I played well and kept up good energy from start to finish.
Q) What were a few crucial moments in the match from your perspective?
I was 4-2 up in the first set, so if I had held (serve) there, may be I would have taken the first set. There were some moments in the tiebreak where he hit some good passing shots, and it turned. Then I got him back at 6-6. It was a good match overall.
Q) You had a lot of break points on the opponents serve, lots of deuces…
Yes, but you can’t do much about this, it’s Tennis! You convert one day, one day you don’t. But the good thing was I kept fighting. I kept trying, you know. It didn’t go the way I wanted but I was happy with the way I played.
Q) You’ve signed up with Sander Arends in doubles and are one spot away from the main draw. How did the partnership come about?
He’s a good player and I’ve known him for a few years now. He’s also ranked around 80 in the world. So I thought it would be good chance to get in. We’re just one spot away, so we need to wait and see if we can get it.
Q) Any thoughts in terms of how your preparation changes from surface to surface?
Not really. I mean I had a few good weeks of training few weeks back in Spain. It’s not easy (with the change in surface). I’ve been able to play a lot of our tournaments, as I have managed to keep myself fit physically. I have my coach Juan Balcells helping me, which is always good. He’s putting me in shape, and is guiding me.
Q) You had a tough time in singles in the first 4-5 months. But now you have been doing really well in the last couple of tournaments. What changed?
I think even the first few weeks of the year in Adelaide and Pune, I played good matches. But it’s just that I lost in Pune. It was a very close match against Travaglia. In Indian Wells also, was really close against Liam Broady, it just didn’t click. But I knew it will come together somewhere and and I was positive. You know, I kept going and and it’s slowly showing up and I just have to keep working on my fitness and my tennis.
Photos from Ramkumar Ramanathan’s matches at the French Open this week –