Mukund Sasikumar thread

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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by jayakris »

At the Challenger 75 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA (Hard)

[Q1] (9) Mukund Sasikumar (IND) vs (WC) Donald Young (USA,626)

Comes up by around 3:30 pm at Little Rock. Donald Young was once the junior #1 and top-40 in ATP once, but he is now 33 and ranked low. I give him credit for continuing to play though rather unsuccessfully.

Arjun Kadhe was in the entry list for doubles there (with Daniel Masur), so maybe we can start a US challenger series thread.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by Dinesh »

Mukund is currently leading 6-1 3-0 against DY. And completes a 6-1 6-4 win. Much tougher match awaits in the FQR against top seed Adam Walton (#288).
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by Dinesh »

Mukund was leading 5-3 in the first set when I started watching but he let go off that lead and while I started to worry, he managed to get it together to win the tie-breaker 7-3. Hope he keeps it up and wins in straight sets.

Lost the second 6-4. Was leading 2-1 up a break, but couldn’t keep the momentum going. Served 7 aces so far in this match, however. Saved multiple BPs to stay in the set but ultimately gave up on the last point that cost him the second set (hope no signs of cramping). :-(

Started the 3rd set with an easy break off Walton and raced to a 40-15 lead in the second game to lose the next 2 points, but his leg seems to be bothering so called for a MTO.

7-6 4-6 1-0 (Deuce) on serve, when the 3 minutes of MTO is over. Mukund is leading still mostly due to his own service games, barely moving to return points on his opponent’s serves. 4-3 Mukund on serve.
Last edited by Dinesh on Mon May 29, 2023 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by jayakris »

Mukund is up a break at 4-3 and serving in the third. Walton complains to the ump that the Medical timeout must have been for a fake injury or something, I suppose. The ump says the physio determined that it was a cramp.

Mukund broken at 30-40 at 4-3. Walton holds serve, 4-5

And he loses. Simply choked the match away with lazy unfocused serves and shots in the last two service games. 67 46 46. This is Mukund these days. He has the game to beat a lot of guys but does not have the mental focus to get it done.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by Dinesh »

Mukund lost from 4-3 in the decider to 4-6. Final result 7-6 4-6 4-6. Cramping issues. Indians can’t seem to catch a break. :damn:
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by jayakris »

Dinesh wrote: Mon May 29, 2023 7:56 pm Cramping issues. Indians can’t seem to catch a break. :damn:
The cramp affected him, but he was still moving well on some points. He had 3 or 4 unforced errors in the final 2 service games because he did not believe that he could win. We could see it in the body language and the lazy whacks at the balls. This was much more mental than physical.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by Dinesh »

This week, Mukund is the 11th seed in qualifying at the Tyler ATP Challenger. He faces a tough challenge against 19 yo Michael Zheng, who reached the Boys finals last year at Wimbledon. Gautam may know more about Zheng’s game since our very own Rohan Belday faced him at the Indian Wells Junior tournament last year (Zheng winning 6-2 6-1). Zheng plays for Columbia University now.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by Dinesh »

Mukund won 6-3 6-2. Likely to face Adam Walton again to whom he lost in 3 sets last week. Walton went on to reach SF there.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by jayakris »

Mukund played really well today. Strong serving. I saw only from 4-3 in the first set when he was converting a BP to go ahead. After that he served 5 aces (including a strong second serve ace that Zheng disputed) and a service winner. But his shot-making looked smooth and effortless today. Zheng was not paying badly, and actually showed some of his good talent in some points (he was a #22 junior late last year, and was a Wimbledon junior finalist; I believe he went to US college tennis this year). But Mukund was in flawless form today, and was mentally focused on every point.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by gbelday »

jayakris wrote: Sun Jun 04, 2023 9:08 pm I believe he went to US college tennis this year).
Good win for Mukund. I was expecting a closer match! Zheng plays for Columbia and had a really good Freshman year. Also, Wimby didn’t award any points last year otherwise he would have been top 10 in juniors for reaching the finals.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by sameerph »

Good to see Mukund get a comfortable win against a talented junior. Another tough match coming up today against a player whom he lost to at same stage last week and the Australian went on to reach SF. Only hope Walker is a bit tired after playing 7 matches in last 8 days.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by jayakris »

Mukund lost to Walton 46 36. Got broken at 2-2 in the first set. Got broken in the 4 games in the second set though he broke thrice two.

This was a sad match to see. Mukund actually played the best quality tennis I have ever seen him play, on so many points. There was such power in his shots and so many of them had so much depth that Walton couldn't even touch them. And then a couple of delectable drop shots too. 6 aces and at least 4 service winners to go with it. How can somebody get broken so many times with that kind of game? It beats me. That is what not having mental calmness does to you. But time and again when even minor pressure comes in like at a 30-30 point, he would do something stupid and you could clearly see that it was not instinctive tennis but simply thinking too much to get over-aggressive or under-aggressive. I could predict it almost 4 out of 5 times. It was horrible to see.

When will Mukund play like he can and trust his instincts rather than think on court? Though I had agreed not to do the "Sasi" thing anymore, it really is the story of his career. "Sasi" shows up in his mind every now and then during the match. It is all mental. Nothing else. He has superb tools and abilities, but cannot win enough, despite that.
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by sameerph »

Mukund has finally got into main draw of a challenger in Cali, Colombia but has got a tough first round.

At Cali Challenger, Colombia (Clay)

[R1] Sasi Kumar Mukund (IND,374) vs. (5) Santiago Rodríguez Taverna (ARG,249)
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by sameerph »

Mukund lost in 2 tie break sets.

At Cali Challenger, Colombia (Clay)

[R1] Sasi Kumar Mukund (IND,374) l. (5) Santiago Rodríguez Taverna (ARG,249) 67(3) 67(5)
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Re: Mukund Sasikumar thread

Post by Atithee »

That’s a very good score line. He should take heart from it.
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