Ramkumar Ramanathan on Thursday defended his strategy of applying the serve and volley style on all surfaces this season but conceded he needs to cut down on the number of tournaments to remain fresh for big moments in close matches.
Ramkumar started the year at number 148 in the world and managed to remain in top-150 despite not going deep in most of the tournaments. He is at number 130 this week.
The KPIT Challenger is his 35th tournament this season apart from competing in two Davis Cup ties and at the Asian Games in Jakarta.
Often experts loathed the way Ramkumar persisted with serve and volley even when he was getting passed easily.
“When I was playing in the US last year, I was doing a lot of practice on serve and volley and I was using it in matches. I was building on that. I felt better on the court. The more I played serve and volley on big points, I started to feel confident. It’s not bad for me. I am tall, I cover the court well, so why not? Ramkumar told agencies when asked about his recent love for such tactics.
“But you should do it at right moment. Staying back also is not a bad idea for me because I grew up on clay. It’s actually a mix-up. It’s always good to have many patterns,” he said.
He savoured his best result of the season on grass, reaching his maiden ATP 250-level final at Hall of Fame Open in Newport.
The 24-year-old from Chennai blamed himself for the losses he suffered and not the style of play he chose.
In 18 tournaments he played on the Challenger Tour, he suffered eight first-round exits, lost five times in the second round, made three quarterfinals and reached only one final.
“I need to make a better plan. The Challengers rules are changing. I should start taking small breaks. Maybe play 25 tournaments instead of 35. Losing close matches is tough and when you a fresh, you can focus on those big points and moments better. Although playing tournaments is also good,” he said.
“I am right there, very close. I believe I can get into the top-100 and top-50, it’s just time. I am putting in the work and am focused,” he added.