Suraj R Prabodh is slowly finding his feet in the men`s circuit. The finalist in the recently concluded Fenesta Men`s National Championship is now going to go full throttle on the international circuit. Let us see his plans and his current progress.
ME: Hey Suraj, good to see you slowly coming in terms with the ITF circuit. The win against the world no 677 was good to start with.
Suraj Prabodh: Thanks a lot. Yes, it was a good win but still needs to improve. I am a fighter and will keep on fighting.
ME: It is always so good to see guys like you fighting an often lonely yet exciting battle in the tour.
Suraj Prabodh: It is part of our fearless career. Need to keep burning day in and day out in order to sustain there.
ME: I guess once you are around 800 on the ATP it will give you more exposure and confidence for the next level.
Suraj Prabodh: Exactly. One needs the right attitude and the needed exposure to perform.
ME: You have chosen a career when a few others feared. So, do you not feel good about it?
Suraj Prabodh: Thanks Sir. It is encouragement from guys like you and blessings from the almighty and parents that keep me going.
ME: Have you never thought of training in a Spanish academy or others abroad that a lot of Indians are doing of late? Does it not help?
Suraj Prabodh: Right sponsors is needed for that. Also, it is not enough to just visit their academy for a few months. In order to get used to their pace and fitness we Indians need sometime and we need to play a lot there. It is always tough otherwise.
Look at Ramkumar Ramanathan and even for that matter Sumit Nagal. They trained there for 5-6 long years and now they have slowly started to deliver the results on a sustained basis.
ME: Have you tried for a few sponsors in Bangalore?
Suraj Prabodh: In Bangalore it is impossible. Nobody wants to support tennis. The thing about approaching these companies for sponsorship is they straightway ask what is there for them. They ask what is the mileage that they will derive and we are all stumped.
ME: How is your present training going?
Suraj Prabodh: Currently I am happy training at Harvest Tennis Academy in Jassowal.
ME: What makes Harvest Tennis Academy good?
Suraj Prabodh: The coach is good. He used to train Janko Tipsarevic. Also, the advantage is I have good players to train with including Dalwinder Singh and Hardeep Singh Sandhu. It is often difficult to get good hitting partners but I guess I am lucky in that front.
ME: So, what is the next in the plan of things?
Suraj Prabodh: I am planning to play the Bangalore Challenger. Let’s see how it goes. I am hoping for a wild card. Also, I will try for the Pune Challenger.
ME: What is your playing style. Spanish where you like to grind or the American where you like to keep the points short?
Suraj Prabodh: I like the Spanish style and I am used to it especially in these slow courts it is tough to finish the points early unless you have serves like a John Isner.
ME: Which is your favourite surface?
Suraj Prabodh: Earlier I used to like clay. Nowadays due to lack of practice on clay I feel more comfortable on synthetic.
ME: Any short-term goals for the maybe next 6 months?
Suraj Prabodh: I want to break inside top 600 at least in the next 6 months. I am aiming for it.
ME: And what is in store long term?
Suraj Prabodh: Just need to keep on working on my game and fitness. Currently I want to take it one step at a time and rest I am sure will fall in place.
Me: Thanks, Suraj for your time. All the best for a great future.