Ramkumar Ramanathan is an Indian professional tennis player. He is the second Indian to have reached the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour singles finals in 2018, after Somdev Devvarman in 2011. Ramkumar won the silver medal in the men’s doubles event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Ramkumar Ramanathan was born on Tuesday, 8 November 1994 (age 29 years; as of 2023) in Chennai, India. His zodiac sign is Scorpio.
Ramkumar attended Loyola College in Chennai, where he pursued a B.A. in Economics. Ramkumar has trained at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, Spain.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
Ramkumar’s father’s name is Ramanathan Kumarappan. His mother’s name is Alagammai Ramanathan. His parents are in the textile business. Ramkumar has a sister named Uma Ramanathan.
Ramkumar Ramanathan started playing tennis when he was five years old. He was introduced to the sport by his father. Ramkumar turned into a professional player in 2009. Ramkumar Ramanathan trained at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, Spain since he was 15 years old. He has trained under professional Spanish tennis players Juan Balcells and Sergio Casal.
In 2014, Ramkumar qualified for the main draw of the Chennai Open and in the first round, beat India’s then No. 1, Somdev Devvarman. In 2015, Ramkumar started participating in Futures and Challenger level tournaments. In April 2015 he reached his first final round at the doubles match at the Mersin Cup in Turkey with partner Riccardo Ghedin. The duo lost at the final stage. In 2015, he also entered the Malaysian Open as a part of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour and was eliminated in the first round by Mikhail Kukushkin. In 2016, Ramkumar qualified for the Chennai Open. He reached the quarterfinals which was his highest round yet at any ATP World Tour event. In October, he paired with Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and reached the final at the Vietnam Open Challenger. The pair ended up being runners-up. In 2016, Ramkumar was supposed to play against Rafael Nadal in India at the World Group Playoff in the Davis Cup; however, Rafael Nadal pulled out of the game due to an upset stomach.
In 2017, Ramkumar Ramanathan achieved a milestone in his tennis career. He reached his first singles Challenger final at the Tallahassee challenger in April, although he faced a loss to Blaž Rola. However, he made an impressive victory at the 2017 Antalya Open, in Turkey, defeating the then world No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the second round, marking his first win against a top-10 player. Ranked 222nd in the world at the time, Ramanathan outplayed Thiem in straight sets. While talking about his win against the then world No. 8 player, Ramkumar said,
That has been the highlight of my career. The pressure was there, but I was really focused. I was serving well and kept myself ahead throughout the match. Maybe the first game I was bit nervous, but I served really well with two aces and two first serves and had a love hold. After that I didn’t think that it was Dominic Thiem on the other side and I stuck to my plan. Times of India
He continued to reach the quarterfinals, ultimately losing to Marcos Baghdatis. Ramkumar reached another singles Challenger final at the Nielsen Pro Tennis Championships in July 2017 but lost the final. Ramkumar entered the qualifying draw of the US Open, where he won his first-round match against Paul-Henri Mathieu but was defeated in the second round against Nicolas Mahut, finishing the year with a singles ranking of 148.
In the 2018 season, Ramkumar entered the Maharashtra Open as a wildcard but lost to Marin Cilic in straight sets. He also participated in the Australian Open qualifying round but was defeated and did not make the qualification. In April, he reached the Taipei Challenger final but lost to Yuki Bhambri.
In July, Ramanathan reached the ATP Tour final at Newport but was beaten by Steve Johnson. Ramkumar was the first Indian after Somdev Devvarman (who reached the 2011 Johannesburg Open finals) to reach an ATP World Tour singles final. He won his first doubles ATP Challenger title at the Pune Challenger in November, with partner Vijay Sundar Prashanth. His 2018 year-end singles ranking was No. 133.
In 2019 and 2020, Ramkumar won doubles titles at the Indian Challengers matches, and at the 2019 Kobe Challenger in Japan with partner Purav Raja.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, things came to a halt. Ramkumar said that in the beginning he spent time with his family and worked on his fitness at home. In an interview, while talking about the pandemic, Ramkumar said,
Obviously, we couldn’t play much in 2020. But all the Indian tennis players came together as a group and did one-hour online sessions for 150 days. We started with just seven players and by the time we finished, we were about 77 people. We also got to rest a lot. Then, Roland Garros (The French Open, 2020) began and I could start playing again. It is a little tricky to travel, but I am happy that we are back in business and doing what we love to do the most.” Times of India
In 2021, Ramkumar entered Wimbledon’s men’s singles qualifying rounds, winning his initial matches but narrowly lost in a five-set tiebreaker to Marc Polmans, just missing out on qualifying. He also made his Grand Slam main draw debut in mixed doubles, teaming up with Ankita Raina after a last-minute entry due to a withdrawal. Their debut match marked the first-ever all-Indian Grand Slam match. The duo was defeated by the Indian team consisting of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza in straight sets.
Ramkumar also clinched his first singles Challenger title at the Manama Challenger in Bahrain by defeating Evgeny Karlovskiy in straight sets.
He also reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 Antalya Challenger III in singles and the semifinals in doubles with his partner Vladyslav Orlov.
At the beginning of 2022, Ramkumar Ramanathan secured his first ATP Tour title in Adelaide alongside partner Rohan Bopanna, where they defeated top-seeded Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the final. This was his first ATP Tour title. He then won his second ATP title at the Maharastra Open, with his partner Rohan Bopanna. This victory led to his entry into the ATP Top 100 doubles rankings with a ranking of World No. 94. Although he suffered a singles loss in the first round of the 2022 Bengaluru Open to Max Purcell in three sets, he won the doubles title with Saketh Myneni. Ramkumar and Saketh Myneni made it to the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships but lost in the first round. In 2022, Ramkumar also led India in the Davis Cup tie against Denmark and won.
Ramkumar Ramanathan won second place in the men’s double event at the 2023 Emilia-Romagna Open with his partner Luca Margaroli from Switzerland.
Ramkumar teamed up with Saketh Myneni for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, and won the silver medal in the men’s doubles event.
Great news thanks to our tennis players. Congratulations to our Men's Doubles pair of @ramkumar1994 and @SakethMyneni on winning an Asian Games Silver Medal. Their exceptional teamwork has left us all in awe. My best wishes for their upcoming endeavours. pic.twitter.com/aA8dnIpoWK
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 29, 2023
After winning the medal, Ramkumar said in an interview,
Oh man, I mean, this is my first medal. We play for moments like these. We try hard to get here. These moments, you can’t buy it. And it happens when you least expect it. If you keep working hard, things will happen. Of course, this (medal) is a sweet reward for that. For all those tough days. For all those days when you didn’t want to go on court. For all those long days in Spain. Nothing can beat this.” Hindustan Times
As of November 2023, Ramkumar Ramanathan’s singles ranking is No. 557 in the ATP World Ranking. His doubles ranking as of November 2023 is No. 187.
2023: Men’s doubles event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, with partner Saketh Myneni.
Awards & Honour
- Ramkumar Ramanathan received the Young Achievers Award from the Rotary Club of Madras East in 2012.
- Ramkumar Ramanathan won the T. K. Ramanathan Award for representing India at the Davis Cup during the annual day of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association in 2015.
- Ramkumar Ramanathan was honoured for his 2021 ATP Challenger tournament win in Manama, Bahrain, and his top-ranking status in Indian Men’s Singles by the AMPA Group in 2021.
- Ramkumar is referred to as Ramkumar ‘The Flash’ Ramanathan.
- Ramkumar Ramanathan can speak in Tamil, English, and Spanish.
- Ramkumar Ramanathan loves playing on grass courts. He likes them because they help with speed, which allows him to use his favourite strategy of serve-and-volley.