Former players in cautious praise of Ramkumar

“I am so happy for Ramkumar, I hope he does well from here,” said Ramanathan Krishnan, who scored multiple wins over all-time greats Rod Laver and Roy Emerson during the course of a resplendent career.

Former tennis players Ramesh Krishnan (left) and Ramanathan Krishnan.   -  R. Ragu

Ramanathan Krishnan, among the best tennis players in the 1950s and '60s, said Ramkumar Ramanathan’s recent victory over Dominic Thiem should provide a confidence boost for the Chennai boy.

“I am so happy for Ramkumar, I hope he does well from here,” said the 80-year-old Krishnan, who scored multiple wins over all-time greats Rod Laver and Roy Emerson during the course of a resplendent career.

Speaking about the significant Indian victories he has seen, Krishnan recalled Premjit Lal’s defeats of four-time Major champion Manuel Santana (at Kent) and two-time Slam winner Fred Stolle (at Queen’s Club) in 1966. In fact, Santana went on to win Wimbledon the same year.

Putting Ramkumar's win in perspective, Krishnan said it is not rare to see such upset victories. “These things happen in tennis. It is not rare. Thiem is not going to lose his sleep [after the loss], nor is he going to lose his confidence. But for Ramkumar, it matters a lot,” said Krishnan.

Krishnan’s son, Ramesh, said he hoped Ramkumar can seize the moment and get better. “Big confidence boost for him. He should work on it.

Ramesh, who scored one of the biggest victories in Indian tennis history when he beat the then World No.1 Mats Wilander in the second round of Wimbledon in 1989, also took time to talk about the match.

“I felt I played my best,” said Ramesh. “It was one of my better matches. I was happy that I could catch him on his bad day."

What factors contribute to such victories? Ramesh said his triumph at the Auckland Open was the perfect build-up to the Grand Slam, giving him both confidence and momentum. His time working with Emerson in Miami helped as well. “I was also at my fittest then,” he added.

  Dugout videos