The 24-year-old will play in the upcoming ATP Challenger Chennai Open 2023.

Anirudh Chandrasekhar has been progressing well in the doubles circuit for the past year. He was ranked outside the top 600 at the start of the 2022 season, and within a year has stamped his name inside the top 200. The 24-year-old started the 2023 season on a bright note reaching the finals of the ATP Quimper Challenger along with Arjun Khade and also making it to the semifinals partnering Vijay Sunder Prasanth. The youngster is currently ranked 169 in the doubles section and hopes to play in the US Open this year.

Khel Now got an opportunity to talk with the youngster ahead of the ATP Chennai Open Challenger.

Journey since 2022 season

The 24-year-old had jumped 400 places higher in the rankings from the top 600 to the top 200 in the 2022 season and has been playing regularly in the Challenger circuits playing top-quality opponents.

Plenty of chances but no finished product

“I started my journey at the end of 2021 and was contemplating whether to play singles or doubles as my doubles ranking was always been higher compared to my singles. I had the experience of playing a few challengers in 2019 and had a feeling to prove myself in the Challengers. Also, I had the belief in succeeding in doubles over singles and took my chances there were situations where I couldn’t get entry into the tournaments due to higher rankings and in some cases got through as alternates and won matches.”

“My advantage throughout has been my partner Vijay Sunder Prasanth who has been supporting me. Initially, we have a combined ranking of 1000 but kept grinding out in the ITF futures and Challengers and got the breakthrough. My aim was to end the 2022 season inside the top 350 but I entered inside the top 200 and am also happy with the way the 2023 season has begun. I hope to continue getting better and move higher up in the rankings,” said Anirudh Chandrasekhar.

Career in singles and difference from doubles

Anirudh Chandrasekhar initially played in both singles and doubles and then shifted his focus to playing the doubles. He tries his hand out at playing a few singles qualifiers if he makes the stipulated entry. 

“No, it was just an attempt to play in the singles. I always enjoy playing singles and it helps in improving my doubles game simultaneously. The advantage of playing singles is you get sharper in ball sighting and faster movement.”

“Doubles has much skill involved and you need to follow a pattern to win matches. You have a template to follow and the team which reads the template better wins on that particular day. On the other hand, playing singles is tactically different,“

Camaraderie with Vijay Sunder Prasanth

Vijay Sunder Prasanth, the 35-year-old senior player has a wealth of experience and has been playing alongside Anirudh Chandrasekhar for the past two years.

Anirudh Chandrasekhar quipped, “We played three ITF 15 futures tournaments in China in 2019 winning one and finishing runner-up twice. As I said before my focus was to shift to doubles in 2021 and Vijay too was concentrating on playing the doubles. After covid 19, my rankings dropped but Vijay had a PR (Protected Ranking) and from there on we started playing regularly.”

Playing at home

Anirudh played his first Challenger in Chennai and after a brief period will be back playing the ATP 2023 Chennai Open Challenger.

“I love playing here and have many friends and family members supporting me here. I will have pressure playing especially when the game to a decider. I am comfortable playing anywhere in India.”

Difficulties in adapting to different conditions

Asia hosts fewer tournaments compared to Europe and the USA. The majority of the Indian players play in the European circuit as there are only a few tournaments scheduled in Asia and especially in India.

Speaking on the same Anirudh Chandrasekhar answered, “My first preference will always be Asia but not many tournaments are held especially after the pandemic. We prepare a schedule at the start but the tournaments in Asia are announced much later which affects the initial plan. The conditions in Europe are much trickier with cold weather which we need to get used to. Playing on clay courts is much more difficult but for doubles, it is pretty much the same for everyone.”

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