Saturday, April 19, 2008

INTERVIEW - Karan Rastogi

Somdev Dev Varman and Yuki Bhambri may be gathering all the accolades but this week Karan Rastogi showed he's still in the reckoning as far as Indian tennis is concerned.

The Mumbai lad beat three Chinese players in straight sets to reach the semifinals of the $15,000 TCL Futures in Taizhou, China -- his best performance since winning the Morocco F5 Futures claycourt tournament in July last year.

The 480-ranked Rastogi fell to Zhe Li, yet another Chinese player, in the last four of the hardcourt tournament --- but not before showing glimpses of the form that have made him one of India's best prospects in the sport.

The 21-year-old also teamed up with Ashutosh Singh to win the doubles event in Taizhou, his first doubles title since triumphing with the same partner in the 2005 Chandigarh Futures.

Rastogi's semifinal run in China is expected to get him closer to the Top 400 in singles and a few consistent performances may see him cross his career-best ranking of 327, which he achieved as a 19-year-old in June 2006.

In this exclusive interview, Rastogi told The Indian Tennis Blog it's good to finally get some wins under his belt.

This is your first foray in the semis of a tennis tournament since winning in Morocco. Was reaching this far a confidence-booster for you?
It's always nice to win some matches. In the past I have been playing good matches but been a little unlucky not to win some - losing in third set tiebreakers and close matches. So it's good to get some wins under your belt.

China hadn't been too nice to you this year (losing opening round matches at both Futures in January) so did you enter this tournament hoping to live up to your seeding and get this far?
I really didn't think about winning or getting to the semis, finals... when I came here. I had my own goals in mind and I just wanted to enjoy my tennis and be happy at the end of the day with my effort.

You played four Chinese players at Taizhou - did the home crowd support put you under pressure? Was Zhe Li one Chinese player too many?
I've been playing a lot of matches where there has been home support against me so that really didn't have any effect on me. Saying that, Chinese players are tougher to beat in their own backyard.

What is your tennis schedule for April-end and May?
There is another $15,000 event next week in Taizhou, after that I play two more $15,000 events in Korea and then the two challengers in Delhi.
Is Karan Rastogi's tennis career back on track?
Can't say free polls

1 comment:

  1. There is a latest interview conducted by TennisJunction India and it is worth a read...


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