Coach Abhijeet has been working with Karman over the past week in Indiana where Karman won the title to seal the US Open Qualifying spot. Abhijeet is a prominent name in Indian Tennis having been a prominent Junior and supported several Indian Pro players as a coach during their run-up to the US Open in the past.
Coach Abhijeet took time out to chat with Indian Tennis Daily on the wonderful run of Karman Thandi.
You`ve been with Karman this week. How did this coaching partnership come about?
This is my first week of working with Karman. I have known Karman for a long time but I have never worked with her directly. It was all thanks to Mr Aditya Sachdeva, who has given me the opportunity to work with her. I am glad that things worked out and we clicked well, all thanks to Addy sir.
How do you review the run this week? Karman did not lose a set leading up to the final.
This is one of the weeks where Karman fought really well. From the first round to the finals, all of the opponents were really good. They were very capable of winning good matches. But the determination and the sincerity that Karman has and the game that Karman plays, she definitely has the potential to be top-50 ranked in the world.
Throughout the week, the way that she focused, I think that was the game changer. I have spent days in all the sessions with her. The way she performs during the matches is very similar to what she does in the practice sessions. So I can see the focus and the dedication towards both the practice as well as the matches and that is why the week has gone so well.
If we notice a couple of the matches, Karman was trailing but has come back. Karman maintains her cool and composure and that is how she is able to close out the matches in straight sets. Even in the finals, Karman could have closed it out in straight sets as she had some chances but Yuliia is a good player too, so glad that Karman came back to close it out in the 3rd set.
What was the game plan for Yuliia? Karman had lost to her a month back.
Yuliia is a very good player and she beat Karman a month back. But if we know Karman, it is about that day, she does not focus on the past and is very focused on today. Karman knows her strengths and so the basic game plan was to play Karman`s game because if she is playing her game well – it doesn’t really matter who is on the opposite side of the court.
Karman focused on landing those big serves and the big forehands which she has been focused on doing since the first round. Whether it is the first round or the finals, if Karman is playing to her strengths, she will be in a good state in the match.
After a tough 2nd set, Karman came back strongly in the 3rd – what do you think were some of the adjustments that Karman made.
Karman got a bit tight in the 2nd set. Some of her shots did not land in and because of that, she slowed down her game a bit. She usually likes to play big. So in those couple of games where Karman was tentative to reign in the errors, the opponent was able to take control and dictate the play more than usual.
As soon as the 3rd set started, Karman was right back and knew that she had to play like a tigress and she took care of it.
Karman has played 11 matches (incl. 4 doubles) over the past 2 weeks. How are you managing the workload in terms of the schedule ahead?
Karman has played a lot of matches over the past 2 weeks and it is all thanks to her dedicated team back home. She has a very good recovery routine and rehab. She manages to complete them every single day. She is a very dedicated girl.
So one can understand how much it takes to manage all these things.
My job over here is to manage her through all these matches over here at the tourneys. This is my first week and I am doing all I can to support her and take care of things.
Moving ahead – are you involved with Karman or any Indian player for this US Hard Court season?
I am more than happy to support any Indian Pro player out there. As of now, I have got this opportunity with Karman, thanks to Aditya Sachdeva sir. I have always been in touch and worked with Divij Sharan, Purav Raja – sometimes I have been given the opportunity to work with Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni as well.
So I have got opportunities to work with the Indian players on the tour and will be honoured to get more opportunities. As of now, I am based out of USA – so whoever is travelling this way – I am more than happy to help out and assist.