Tennis-University News – 1st week of February
Home tournament for Indian TU players
The exciting January lies behind the players and coaches of the Tennis-University and the 2020 season is already entering its second month. The ATP Cup, newly introduced this year, meant that our Indian pros did not travel to the only home ATP tournament until after the Australian Open. The ATP 250 tournament in Pune, which is normally used as a preparation tournament for the first Grand Slam of the year, is now being held after Melbourne at the beginning of February. India’s number 1 Praj Gunneswaran of course competed here. Arjun Kadhe also received a wildcard for the Singles main draw and played in doubles alongside doubles legend Rohan Bopanna. The duo had a tricky task waiting for them in the first round with the French pairing Paire/Hoang, which they were ultimately unable to cope with in a tight match tiebreak of 7-10. Also in the Singles Arjun’s opponent proved to be a tad too big. Jiri Vesely, who was in top form on the fast Indian hard court, won against the 26-year-old in two sets. A few days later the Czech was crowned as tournament champion.
For Arjun’s TU colleague Praj Gunneswaran the week started with the match against the German Yannick Maden. In a tight match on Center Court, the Indian won both tiebreaks and entered the next round with a two set win. Here Soonwoo Kwon, who has been extremely consistent over the past months, was waiting. The fourth seeded Korean played almost error free and took the first set. In the second set, the spectators waited in vain for a break of serve, but in the end the Korean kept the upper hand also in the tiebreak and won the match 6-3 7-6(5).
Next week, the Indians will continue to play in front of their home crowd, with TU players Karim Maamoun and Sriram Balaji joining them at CH125 in Bangalore.
Karim could already gain some self-confidence last week, especially in doubles. At the M25 in Thailand, he played alongside Sebastian Fanselow from Germany as he did the week before. In the first round, the two were able to take out the Kazakh team, which had been seeded second. In the quarterfinal against Kim/Prashanth the duo only had to fend off one single break point in a convincing performance ending 6-3 6-2. Also in the semi-finals, the Egyptian did not drop a set alongside his German teammate. Only in the final the run of the duo could be stopped by the top-seeded French double Denolly/Bonzi. All in all, it was a successful end to Karim’s two weeks in Thailand before he will make his way to India.
Despite the absence of our Indian pros, the amount of Indian players at the home base in Offenbach is almost unchanged. The two talented Indians Dharmil Shah and Paras Dahiya are currently spending a few weeks at the Tennis University to improve their game.
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