Young 15 years old Manas Dhamne was handed a WC at the fifth edition of Tata Open Maharashtra. He was up against former top 100 big serving American Michael Mmoh in the first round. Manas showed some great fight before going down.
In the post match press conference, Manas said that he and his team is ready for the next tournaments and he will be working hard to improve his fitness and serving.
Below are the excerpt :
Q) Can you sum up your feelings before and after the match ?
MD : Before the match I was a bit nervous, as I went on the court and played few points I felt good and it was okay. Then i was not nervous at all and then I was feeling good to play and after the match also I was happy with the way I played and my performance. And it was a really good experience and I am happy about it and next time I will play another match I will try to improve the mistakes I did today.
Q) What did you learn from the match as per your game is concerned ?
MD : There were some important moments in which I had chance, maybe I could go up and match could have been different. How to handle those points and what I could have done better on those points. I was feeling good on the backhand and maybe I could have played them more, but for me that was not a big thing in the match.
Q) The first rally was long and you hit a strong forehand down the line. Does that help to calm down your nerves ?
MD : Yes for sure, the first point was really important and I wanted to play the first point of the first game really solid and not miss and I think i played that way so that was a good thing today. And yes the first point calm me down a little bit and the nervousness went away and in the second game I was feeling good.
Q) How did you cope up the pressure considering it was an ATP 250 main draw ?
MD : There was no pressure at all and I had no expectations because I don’t know what the match would be like and I haven’t played with any of these guys before. So I have no idea of how the match will go and there was no pressure and expectations so i just wanted to go on the court and play as I play.
Q) Things you need to step up on quality wise ?
MD : I have to improve physically more, the serve I have to improve because the other guys serve is really good. He got lot of free points on his serve and on his service games he went fast like 2 min and most of my games I have to play every point and rally every point. I didn’t have free points on my serve, so the serve for sure and physically I have improved a lot since I am training in Italy. So yeah I will keep improving physically.
Q) What are the positives ?
MD : So for me there were lot of positive things, I kept fighting till the end. Like in last I was 5-4 & 0-30 so I had a chance to go 5-5 second set. So yeah there were lot of good things and things I need to improve, so yeah we are ready for the next tournaments and we know how to improve. So yeah we are going to work on it from tomorrow itself.
Q) About the development training and how has it helped ?
MD : I think for one and a half year I have been there and I have improved a lot after going there specially physical and also other aspects like how to handle the match because this one was more bigger event than what I am used to playing. And also I think I have been improving a lot and yes so keep working hard and keep improving for the rest of the year.
Q) Can you assist the matchup today, you have played few Challenger level matches in Europe. So in terms of getting exposure to such big matches how do you think you match up with Mmoh today ?
MD : Yeah last year I played one challenger in Italy. And I remember in that match we had long rallies in the start and after the first set I was very tired physically. And in the second set it was like I couldn’t stay there anymore because I was so tired but today two sets and I have energy and if it had went to the third I would still be having energy. So yeah that shows how much I have grown in the last 6-7 months. Also in terms of tennis, the serve also improved a lot it’s not to that level yet but it’s better than the last year and I think we will keep improving and we are working on it everyday.
Q) So you hit with guys like Dimitrov and others in last few years, do you think that helped in the match ?
MD : Yes for sure, that was really great experience to play with those guys. And yes to play at that speed and 20-30 shots rally with that speed and to play for 1-2 hour so that helped for sure to play with these guys.