SASIKUMAR MUKUND SINGLES CHAMPION at ITF $25K SINTRA-I, 2022.
Seeded no.2 Mukund had an impressive run at Portugal, winning his sixth career singles title while dropping only one set on his way to glory. He defeated Duarte Vale[POR] in the finals with the score line of 7-6(6) 3-6 6-0.
A quick chat with Sasikumar Mukund.
Your first title since Coimbatore. What does the win in Portugal mean for you?
Well, it’s tough to say because since 2018 I have mostly played challenger tour events and it took time for me to reach the level to win a challenger. I was close a couple of times, but couldn’t really get through. But whatever level it might be, it does feel very good to be the last man standing in a tournament.
Which of the tournament’s matches has given you the most satisfaction?
The quarter-final against Adria Soriano Barrera[ESP] was the best as both of us played some quality tennis. Also, Adria is a good friend of mine, so I had a lot of fun.
How were the conditions-did they suit your game style?
Honestly, the conditions weren’t perfect. It was very windy, but that’s how tennis is.
It has been a tough year for you after the final in Italy. What do you attribute this to?
Yes, it’s been a horrendous season since Italy. Maybe I picked up the wrong tournaments; playing in altitude and on clay didn’t help. And a lot of time went into COVID-related complications, I wasn’t really fit during one of the weeks. Now, all that is sorted, and I am happy hard court events are back.
Talk about your involvement with Arjun Gowtham-how did this partnership come about and the impact he has had on you?
Arjun came in as a mental and breathing coach, but slowly that took a backseat. He has now started coaching me in tennis and I enjoy the association with him.
Can you talk about shifting base from Vienna to Florida & your coaches and physio in Florida ?
I was based in Vienna because my previous coach Martin Spottl was from Austria. Just for a change & nothing strategical to shift to Florida.
So there are two people currently. Apart from Arjun, I work with Chris Emkey for my fitness. I do not have a tennis coach.
Your goals for the rest of the season?
I want to compete in more challenger events and constantly improve. You know, I’ve put in lots of work to arrive at this level, and it is important to capitalise on it. Now the goal is to try and win more titles.
Picture Credits: Jorge Cunha Aifa, Events Prime Stadium