There is excitement in Indian tennis as the young prodigy, Yuvan Nandal, takes steps forward to make an impact on the world stage.
After making the second round of the junior draw of the Australian Open in Melbourne, the 17-year-old has made the tennis world take notice by winning one of the biggest ITF junior tournaments in Malaysia, beating the top seed and compatriot Aryan Shah in the final.
Yuvan and Aryan, along with Manas Dhamne had all competed in the first Grand Slam of the season. They promise to follow up at the French Open and Wimbledon with a better fare.
Yuvan has taken the best stride forward by climbing up to a career-best rank of 38, while Aryan follows at 52. More than the excitement, what is particularly impressive is how the seasoned coach Aditya Sachdeva is taking care of Yuvan at the Round Glass Academy in Chandigarh.
Aditya shared the room with Yuvan for a fortnight in Dubai, trying to
build him a routine, while being a part of a training camp with Gerald Cordemy, the erstwhile fitness trainer of Serena Williams.
“That stint in Dubai has made a big difference to the attitude and approach of Yuvan. Apart from Sania Mirza, there were also Alexei Popyrin and his coach Xavier Malisse. They have given a lot of points that Yuvan has happily grasped”, said Aditya.
“By staying with him in the room, I wanted to observe him well and ensure discipline off the court. Just helped him develop a routine. Now, he has become more responsible on his own”, observed the coach.
The immediate goal is to give the best exposure to Yuvan this season to build him up strong for the professional circuit.
“Yuvan is a fierce competitor. He is the most hard-working kid. It is tough to take him off the court, but we try to impress on him the importance”, said Aditya.
Yuvan will have a month-long training in Europe before he starts competing in tournaments in the run-up to Roland Garros.
“We always make it a point to send a coach, a trainer or at times a parent with the juniors. They are never sent alone”, said Aditya, who intends to be with Yuvan at least for the Grand Slams.
The best thing about Yuvan is that he wants to improve and knows the areas that need to be addressed.
“That is the good part. It makes our job easy. There are many things missing in his game. His level still goes up and down. The biggest challenge is the transition from juniors to men. We are working on it. Competition outside India is one of the key elements for development”, said the coach.
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