“I need to work on the mental part a lot” – Yuvan Nandal, Indian Jr #1 after US Open outing

Indian Junior Number 1 Yuvan Nandal went toe-to-toe against the reigning Junior Wimbledon champion Henry Searle until the first set tiebreak, but the Brit ran away with the match after. Nandal, who’d been struggling with an injury for the last few months, caught up with ITD to share his thoughts. Excerpts below:

Ashish Malhotra: What are your thoughts on the match?

Yuvan Nandal: Great player. Never played him before. I just got to know that he won Wimbledon. I just went on the court thinking I’ll give it my all. 

That’s what I did in the first set I think, but the guy had a bigger serve than me. I started the tiebreak bad…couldn’t make the comeback. Because when you start a tiebreak with a double fault – I don’t think it makes sense to do that. And then the guy was serving big after that. He was really confident – doing good serves. 

Ashish Malhotra: When you say you just got to know that he won Wimbledon, you mean before the match or after the match?

Yuvan Nandal: Before the match. I was even playing Wimbledon, but I was injured at the time. But yeah, before the match I got to know. But it doesn’t really matter if he won something or not. The thing was I was ready to give everything and I probably did. But sometimes I need to figure out what to do.

Ashish Malhotra: In terms of the Good To Great Academy you’ve been at in Sweden, how’s the experience been so far? Which coaches are you working with in particular?

Yuvan Nandal: It’s a great academy. I have my fitness coach Ulf (Ekstam). I have my physios Anne (Weibull) and Frederick. And my coach is Mikael Tillström and Joakim Nyström. Mikael is not always at the academy so Joakim looks after me after that. It’s a great experience in the academy. We have a good team when we work there. It’s awesome.

Ashish Malhotra: Do you interact much with Magnus Norman?

Yuvan Nandal: Yeah, sometimes. He’s at the academy so we just say hi and stuff, but I train with Mikael a lot. The first day was with Magnus and I think after that I started training with Mikael more.

Ashish Malhotra: You were struggling with some injuries and niggles earlier in the year. Is that all okay now, or are you still dealing with some of that?

Yuvan Nandal: Actually I had a fracture in my left ankle by just walking on the streets…like four months ago. Then I healed back from it after the French Open. And then right before Wimbledon I twisted it again. So I had the injury again. So I think I am still on the way to fixing it because my ankle has been swelling sometimes still. 

Ashish Malhotra: So it’s still not a hundred percent?

Yuvan Nandal: It’s still not. I think it’s like 70% healed. But I need to tape it up, wrap it up every time I go into a match.

Ashish Malhotra: Are you considering just taking some time off to rest up?, or is it not such a huge injury?

Yuvan Nandal: No I don’t think so. It’s not like it was a huge injury, but now it’s getting better day by day. So yeah, I don’t think I will take off and will just keep going after this.

Ashish Malhotra: What’s your plan after Juniors? Are you thinking of going pro directly or are you thinking about college tennis?

Yuvan Nandal: I have no clue about college tennis right now. I’ll go pro because I think I have the team right now and I’m working good with them. And RoundGlass is really supporting me for that. The RoundGlass Foundation. And thanks to Addy Sir who is helping me with everything with the team. He’s working with me – he was there in the match today. He supported me a lot. We made some plans yesterday right before the match, what to do in the match. We did that, but I think at some point (the match) was mental and I need to work on that a lot.

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