ITD Member Balaram Dhulipala caught up with Team Yuki Saki after their Grand Slam debut as a team.
Our team lost their debut Grand Slam match as a team to the 14th seeds in R1 of the Men’s doubles main draw.
Q) Thoughts on the match
YB : I thought as a whole we played a good match and we put ourselves in a position to win. We had a lot of opportunities, especially in the first set and in the third set. So we did all the right things to reach up to that moment but just did not put them away.
Doubles is all about a few points at this level. So we were not able to close out the match and get a big win.
Q) How was it playing in the first slam together ?
SM : It was always going to be tough playing two good guys who had won Grand Slam before. We prepared ourselves the best way we could. Last week it was different conditions with much more humidity. It is completely different here with colder weather and faster conditions but I think we adjusted ourselves to give ourselves a shot but unfortunately we came up on the wrong side today.
We will learn from this and keep getting better and improving. That’s what gets us to the next level and keeping up that level is the important part.
Q) What were the key moments in the match?
YB : I think we were aggressive especially considering that this is our first slam together as a team. It was about reminding ourselves to be there in the moment and have fun as well as it is not everyday that we are competing at this level.
Of course, when you’re in that moment you want to win. We were pretty close and we had a couple of moments where on any other day, we would be closing out those moments to win the match. We have to understand that we are obviously playing two former slam champions as well. There is a lot to learn and a lot to look forward to because we were competing at this level and we were there.
As long as we keep our rankings high enough to give ourselves the opportunity to play the slams, the Masters and all those big events – then I think we will be fine. We just have to sort of get a foot in the door with doubles. Whatever opportunity comes like these, we have to focus on capitalizing them and I think we’ll be there.
Q) You are at career-high ranking as of now. What is your path forward ?
YB : Play as many ATP events that we can, we’re going to keep playing higher up. This is not the rankings that we want to be at. The career high ranking is only a validation that we’re in the right direction. We just intend to keep moving forward, and try and play as many ATP events as we can this year.
SM : This is just the first slam of the year. Goal is to keep improving and play all the slams this year and then compete in whatever big ATP events that are possible to play.