15-yr old Manas Dhamne spoke to Indian Tennis Daily after qualifying into the main draw and making it to round 2 of the Wimbledon Boys Championships. Manas shared his thoughts on the matches and on his game progression so far.
Manas is a trainee at the Piatti Tennis Center in Bordighera, Italy and is managed by IMG Tennis.
Q) Thoughts on the win against WR #47 Hayden Jones today
MD – He is a good player for grass. The game plan was to start solid. It was to first focus on myself, how I start, and then focus on the opponent. It was to start solid, and not miss a lot. He started his service games very well, then I held a tight one and managed to break him the next game. Then the set went good. I also went more aggressive and i was feeling very good today to play.
The second set was also very close. It was just one break and I had to save some break points. I served good on the breakpoints today. So, that was a good match.
Q) Any key moments or patterns from the match today?
MD – I was returning very good today. He was serving good. My service games – I managed to play well today, I didn’t get broken even once. They were close games, not like easy holds. I served well on important points.
Q) You might play the number one seed in the next round. Thoughts on that?
MD – I have played him before actually on clay, which I think is his best surface. He also did final at French Open. He plays a very tough British player who plays very good on grass in the 1st round. Let’s see who wins, I will just enjoy my game.
Q) Are you planning to play doubles as well here?
MD – We are two spots out. I hope we can make it so I get to play doubles. It’s fun and I enjoy playing it.
Q) Thoughts on your first match against Vuk Radjenovic in 1st round of qualifying
MD – I did not know about the game of my first round opponent. I knew him but not his game. Also playing on Grass was a new variable. I was working hard over the last week training on grass.
I wanted to keep it simple without thinking a lot as I have the game.
Q) You came here directly from Casablanca playing on Clay…
MD – Yes I came directly and they didn’t give us court to practise before the match for the ITF Juniors J300 Roehampton – so I directly went and played on Grass for the first time, directly in a match. I played Road To Wimbledon U14 a few years ago but it was so long ago that it does not count much. I lost the first set but managed to come back and win that match last week.
I lost the next match but then I had a good one week training block which got me more prepared for grass.
Q) Thoughts on your second match against Atakan Karahan.
MD – I knew Atakan as a person for a long time but did not have knowledge of his game style. Plan was to see a few games and see how he plays and plan accordingly.
Q) You were 6-2 5-4 40-15 up but it got stretched to a super tiebreak. What went wrong?
MD – In the first match point, I was in a good position to hit a ball but I missed it by a long distance. I got a bit tight and nervous but I am happy that I kept fighting and not thinking about those missed opportunities and found a way to win.
Q) You played for several weeks in Monastir, losing in the qualies. How did you keep yourself motivated?
MD – Yes I lost in qualies but it was not because I did not have the level. It was just that I was thinking too much or not able to play the way I can. I kept working hard because I knew that I had the level to play.
I just kept working hard and I got that level in Casablanca, Morocco. Now I am confident that I can defeat the guys ranked in the ATP 500-600 on a regular basis in the main draw.
Q) On your areas of improvement.
MD – The big thing is to keep the same high level throughout the entire match. Do not give those 3-4 free points every few games. At this level, the opponents serve big and so if one gives a free game – it is difficult to come back in that set.
Stroke wise – I am in a good position. I need to focus more on improving physically and maintaining the level through the match.
Photos of Manas from the qualifying competition