The 23-year-old with a large serve is known for long, grueling matches in the ITF women’s circle. Most of the time she is used to ending up on the wrong side of the score.
There can be many reasons for the epic three-packs in which she can often be found. Making her recordings and never withdrawing is impressed on her from the start. In addition, Karman, based in Europe, plays tournaments with strong fields.
But she finally seems to have cracked the code when she reached the final of a $ 25,000 ITF event in Ortisei, Italy last month – all four games en route to the final went into the winning set.
“There were some really close games, but I couldn’t win them (before). The result line was like 4-6, 5-7, or 5-7 6-7. I think when I played Italy in November it just shifted. It has turned, ”Karman said at the ITF’s $ 25,000 women’s tennis event in Pune last week.
In the second round she defeated Switzerland’s 166th place, Ylena In-Albon, before losing to another Swiss woman, number 195 in the world, Susan Bandecchi, in the title fight in Italy.
“I feel like this is where I belong. I beat these girls. So, yes, I believe that hard work is never in vain. Nothing is wasted, ”said the girl from Delhi.
“I stayed positive, my team stayed positive and at the end of the year the results finally came.
“It was a shame that I had to give up (in the second round in Pune), but I’m really looking forward to the next tournament and I’m staying strong.”
Karman said it wasn’t my choice to play marathon runner.
“I’m playing against some good girls in three sets, the European circuit is obviously tough. And I’ve played against girls whose rankings, as I told you, were pretty high. They were there to play, we compete. It is not my decision to play three sets, ”she said.
“Those were tough games and I stayed very tough. I feel like if I stay tough there for three hours then I’ll be a hard player to beat.
“Three sets were the result, but each point was of high intensity. We both tried to win the game and I’m grateful that I got the victories. ”
Karman’s campaign in Pune was interrupted by a shoulder problem and it came as a damper as it led the Hyderabad franchise to the Mumbai Tennis Premiere League title the previous week.
She was not impressed by the latest fitness concerns.
“I mean, I’m pretty experienced with injuries. I feel, ‘ok, if I work on things I’ll get out of there’. So I keep a positive attitude. Obviously, you feel bad, but you need to think about how you can get better. So I’ve found a way before, I’ll find a way to do better now, “she said.
On the pitch it was clear that Karman was playing well within himself. In both matches she used the wide and full cuffs instead of unleashing her thundering bombs in the T. It was another matter that she even cracked her second serve on occasion.
Groundstrokes were also measured on both flanks, although she increased the pace slightly at key points to make sure it didn’t take long.
Probably the warm Indian weather – compared to the colder climes of Europe where she had stayed for most of the year – contributed to this problem, but Karman said it did not.
“I injured my abdominal muscles in Italy and I’m recovering from them. That’s why I didn’t serve 100 percent during PTL and now, “she said.
“I have the feeling that I only served 60-70 or sometimes 80 percent. I feel like I still have to recover. I have to focus on recovery and rehab now to get rid of these things. ”
Karman, who had trained at the Patrick Mouratoglou tennis academy in France until 2020, joined Sascha Nensel and Milos Galecic at the Nensel tennis academy in Peine after the lockdown.
“I didn’t leave Patrick, he wasn’t really my coach. I left the academy because it was more centered and personal with Sasha and Milos. At Mouratoglou I had the feeling that “I was missing a coach for the whole time”. And it was just time to move on, ”Karman said.
“Patrick … I’m really grateful for how he treated me there. All the help they could give me when I was injured because that was when I was injured in the shoulder.
“The work that the team did in rehab, made me strong and got me back on the field, was commendable.
“Also tennis, it was a great facility and (has) experienced coaches. I definitely have no complaints, it was all like a good relationship and a good understanding. ”
Explaining one of the reasons for leaving the Mouratglou Academy, Karman added: “One on one and a coach who traveled with me every tournament… because I was injured, it wasn’t possible last year. But sometimes at Mouratoglou we changed coaches, not teams, every two or three weeks.
“With Sascha and Milos, the priorities were very clear. I felt like we all worked really hard and put the hours into this year to help me stay strong and keep playing tournaments. We have built a good relationship so far. ”
Karman won her only ITF title in Hong Kong in 2018 without losing a set. This win underscored a good run that included two semi-finals and qualification for a WTA Tour event in Nanchang.
Three years later she got stronger and wiser.
“All of the work I’ve put in over the past three years is definitely helping and building,” said Karman.
“I’m grateful to the team for helping me to build myself up, to stay longer and stronger in the games, to be solid on these points and where it is needed.
“Sometimes the games are more mental than physical. But to stay mentally strong and have the confidence in your body that you can hold out three sets against good players in high-intensity matches. I think that definitely helped.
“For the last three years it has been the big difference that I have been able to play these high-intensity matches and stay strong.”
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