Fit-again Saketh Myneni eager to get back to action

Having been on the sidelines for the past two months, Saketh is now eager to find his rhythm at the Chennai Open Challenger, where he faces Arjun Kadhe in the first round.

Saketh Myneni returns to the court after two-month injury layoff.   -  Special Arrangement

Saketh Myneni has one simple task for the upcoming year: to remain healthy and injury-free. The 30-year-old endured a painful 2017, to say the least. He began last year by picking up a foot injury at the Chennai Open, which kept him out for nearly six months. After what seemed like an eternity, the right-handed Saketh got back to the court in July, only to suffer a shoulder injury in November.

Having been on the sidelines for the past two months, Saketh is now eager to find his rhythm at the Chennai Open Challenger, where he faces Arjun Kadhe in the first round on Monday.

“I need to get my confidence back, it's been a while since I played singles. The last tournament I played was the Pune challenger and I picked up an injury there during a match. I had to skip the Bangalore Challenger because I had to make sure my body came first,” said Saketh to Sportstar on Sunday.

Read: Chennai likely to host two more Challengers in 2018

When asked on how challenging it was to focus on tennis while suffering back-to-back injuries, he said, “I never had a proper fitness base in my fundamental junior years and I have a lot of catching up to do. I have been trying to get more physical and stronger over the last 3-4 years. If I get better off the court, it will help me get better on the court as well.”

Saketh, who is ranked 470, went on to add that most Indian players have a tough time avoiding injuries. “A lot of Indian guys have injury issues. You have to find yourself to be injury-free and that's a big task for a lot of guys. No player is a 100 per cent fit at any point of time. There's always going to be something or the other and its severity depends on what it is going to cause. The focus must always be on getting fitter and stronger.”

Commenting on the importance of challengers being held in India, the Arjuna awardee said, “It certainly helps if there are more tournaments for Indian players. It's always tough to host challengers in India but everyone is glad this is happening. It's a big chance for more Indians to play in the main draw and perform well.”