Sasikumar Mukund is relaxed about his tennis, and in fact, rejoices the medal of friend Tejaswin Shankar in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
"Tejaswin was my roommate in Samoa in the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015. He had won the gold then," recalled the 25-year-old Mukund, on a brief stop-over in the national capital on his way to Indonesia from the US.
Mukund himself had won the singles and mixed doubles gold medals in the Youth Games and remembered that there was a third athlete supposed to share the room then.
"We had three beds and the third was meant for Neeraj Chopra, but he was out with an injury. Neeraj has made phenomenal progress with Olympics gold and World Championship silver. Equally, I am happy for Tejaswin. In fact, our whole family celebrated his Commonwealth medal, as he has become a family friend over the years," said Mukund.
Quite pleased to be part of the Davis Cup team for the forthcoming tie against Norway, Mukund said that every player was beatable and French Open finalist Casper Ruud was no exception.
"I had lost in three sets to their second best player Viktor Durasovic in Bogota recently. But, I am sure we can win two singles and the doubles against Norway," said Mukund.
From the intense training for about four years in Austria, Mukund who had reached a career-best rank of 229 in 2019, has shifted base to Florida, US, to train with a couple of top players.
"I am enjoying the process a lot better. The focus is to be happy on a daily basis, playing good quality, rather than burn oneself out in trying to achieve long-term goals," said Mukund who has streamlined his mind space with the professional help of Arjun Goutham.
"I am going to play two ITF events in Indonesia, to try and get some matches, before returning to the Challenger circuit," said Mukund.
It may be a hard grind on the professional circuit, but Mukund is determined to make every match count, especially while representing the country.
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