As technical director of the RoundGlass Tennis Academy, Aditya Sachdeva runs one of the most prestigious sporting academies in India. Sachdeva, an equally renowned tennis coach when he is not busy taking care of administrative duties, was most notably responsible for training Yuki Bhambri, the first Indian to win the Junior Australian Open title, during his early years.
With more than two decades of top-level experience under his belt, there are not many who are more qualified to talk about the state of Indian tennis, the GOAT debate, and what the landscape of tennis could look like after the eventual retirement of the Big-3.
In this exclusive interview, that is exactly what he did. Here are a few excerpts from the conversation:
Who is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in your opinion? As a coach, who is the most technically sound tennis player you have seen? On a similar note, who is the most unorthodox player who surprises you with how successful they are?
Aditya Sachdeva: In my opinion, the GOAT is Roger Federer because he has dominated two different eras of tennis. In terms of technical prowess, it would definitely have to be Federer once again. For the last part of the question, I feel Gael Monfils fits well, as he can just about do anything possible on the court.
When do you think India will produce a World No. 1 or a Grand Slam winner in singles? What are the steps that should be taken for that to happen? As someone who runs a prestigious academy like RoundGlass, what are the plans you personally have for this?
Aditya Sachdeva: We at the RoundGlass Tennis Academy are hoping to bring about a change and take the first step by having more players participate in the Grand Slams. We have selected bright, talented players from various parts of India and started the Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) plan for them. Over the next few years of development, it shall start yielding results.
How comparable is the competition in the junior Davis Cup to the senior Davis Cup? Essentially, is success in one event a guarantee of success in the other?
Aditya Sachdeva: It would not be fair to compare boys to men. Having said that, I would like to add that at every level – be it junior or senior – the competition is tough. Being successful in juniors does not guarantee success in seniors at all. The junior level is a learning and development platform that is used to push toward the main goal of senior-level tennis.
You coached Yuki Bhambri who won the Australian Open junior title. If not for his injuries, could he have become one of the best singles players India has produced?
Aditya Sachdeva: I honestly think he is one of the best singles players this country has produced and if not for his injuries, Yuki had the potential to be an ATP top-20 player.
Among Next Gen players like Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Sebastian Korda, and the others, who do you think will become the next big thing? Do you think there will be another Big-3 or Big-4 in our lifetime?
Aditya Sachdeva: It’s tough to predict who will be the next big superstar as all the players you have mentioned are great, upcoming players. In due course of time, they will definitely comprise of the Big-3 or Big-4.
How would you rate India’s chances at the upcoming Junior Davis Cup and Senior Davis Cup? What are the realistic results that fans should hope for from the tournaments?
Aditya Sachdeva: The Davis Cup is one of the toughest competitions in tennis and in sport, anything can happen. Given the way our players have performed lately in their last few ties, we should look forward to some exciting tennis coming our way.