Chennai: Ramkumar Ramanathan made tennis fans take notice of him with an upset of World No 8 Dominic Thiem, which many, including former India Davis Cup player Ramesh Krishnan think could be the beginning of big things for him.
He was all praise for Ramanathan's win over Thiem in the Antalya Open recently and said it would have been nice if he had won the next match against Marcos Baghdatis (in the quarterfinals).
Chennai-based Ramanathan had scored a 6-3, 6-2 pre-quarterfinal win over Thiem, the top-seed at the Antalya Open before bowing out to Baghdatis in a close three-setter in the next round.
"The win over Thiem is Ramanathan's biggest win. I hope he can build on that. Too bad he could not get past Baghdatis. This should give him the confidence to keep up with his good work," Krishnan told PTI.
Krishnan had himself pulled off an upset win over the then world number one and top-seed Mats Wilander at the Australian Open in 1989.
He said it was good to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal come back strongly and win the first two Grand Slams of the season after missing a major part of 2016 owing to injuries. They seem to be the players to beat at Wimbledon, which begin on Monday, he added.
"It is quite amazing to see the form that Federer and Nadal have been in. They are the two best players in form now," Krishnan said.
"It is an interesting Wimbledon with the top four seeds as former champions. Nadal is in top form but has not played any matches on grass. Federer has missed the whole clay court season which is a big gamble. Murray and Djokovic are struggling to get back to top form," he said assessing the players.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) Chief Executive Officer H K Joshi said it was an excellent performance by Ramanathan to beat Thiem, who is one of the game's rising stars.
"It is one of the best wins by an Indian players. He has made us proud. This can give him a lot of confidence to push his career forward," he said.
TNTA had been supporting Ramkumar for a few years, Joshi said and wished he can keep improving.
"He had sort of stagnated after beating Somdev Devvarnan a few years ago at the Chennai Open and this victory (in Antalya) could be the catalyst he needed to put his career and rankings back on the upward curve. He needs to be more consistent," Joshi said.
"The serve is Ram's biggest weapon and he needs to work on consistency. If his serve is working well, he can win matches. The key is to have fewer off days and maintain a high level of play, day in and day out, which the best do. It is important for him to maintain focus and play to his strengths," he said.
"This year (Ramkumar Ramanathan) has played a lot more three-set matches, which is a good sign. Apart from consistency, work has to be done on his fitness too. He does have the ability to do well at the highest level. But for that he has to start believing in himself and his abilities. Maybe the win over Thiem could do that...," the TNTA CEO said.
Joshi also felt that Ramkumar Ramanathan's upset of the young Austrian, could motivate other Indian players and make them believe they can beat the big guns and do well on the ATP circuit.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jul 01, 2017 18:29:43 IST