24 Jun 2013

ITF Pro Circuit meets... Saketh Myneni

Text Interview

By Nick Fishpool

Photo: Saketh MyneniSaketh Myneni (IND)

Currently he is India's second highest ranked male player on the ATP rankings release of 24 June 2013. With eight singles and nine doubles ITF Pro Circuit titles to his name, here's your chance to get to know more about India's 25-year-old ATP Top 300 ranked player Saketh Myneni.


ITF Pro Circuit: Can you tell us where were you born and maybe describe the area where you grew up?

Saketh Myneni: I was born in a small town named Vuyyuru and grew up entirely in Visakhapatnam (Vizag). Vizag is one of the prettiest site seeing coastal cities in the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its natural harbor.


Do any other members of your family play sport?

My father is the only one, he played badminton and tennis for recreational activity.


So how did you get started in tennis?

It started tennis as a physical activity with my dad at the age of 12. I first held a tennis racquet in Vizag at a sports club.

Andre Agassi (USA)

Who were/are your tennis idols?

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras


What is your greatest tennis memory either as a player or as a fan?

As a fan, watching Roger Federer at US Open from court side


In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?

Best, one gets to travel to lots of places and get to meet wonderful people around the globe.

Worst, staying away from family and friends when on the road.


So far in your career, what has been the nicest ITF Pro Circuit venue that you played at?

There are lots of nice venues all around but since I needed to choose one, I would say Guam - the last Futures I played at.


What is the best experience that you had on the ITF Pro Circuit?

The best for now would be winning my first ITF Pro Circuit title in Chennai.


Which player(s) are you friends with?

I am friends with a lot of them and keep in touch outside tennis too.


How has playing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you as a player?

This is one of the crucial stages for any professional tennis player. It teaches a lot of fundamentals and basics before one goes on the ATP Tour. It helped me in travelling and competing at international events.


Would you recommend that juniors go on to play the ITF Pro Circuit?

It depends on the stage and level the junior is at. It will vary person to person and if the time is right to move up then it is yes for sure.


Speaking of other male players (past & present), whose attributes would you take to create your own male super player?

Serve: Pete Sampras

Return of Serve: Andre Agassi

Forehand: Fernando Gonzalez

Backhand: Marat Safin

Volley: Patrick Rafter

Positioning: Dominic Hrbaty

Speed on court: Lleyton Hewitt

Concentration: David Ferrer

Fighting spirit: Rafa Nadal

Entertainment: Mansour Bahrami


If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?

US Open.


What has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

You got to do the small things right to get to the big things in life.


Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests?

Music, movies and watching sports events.


Do you have a favourite holiday destination?

Hawaii Islands. Paradise.


If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?

Could have been a cricketer.


Have you set yourself any goals for 2013?

The goal would be trying to get into the top 200 and competing at Grand Slams.


Finally, tell us something about yourself that possibly not many people already know?

Nicknamed Saké or Saki


Thanks for your time and all the best in 2013.