Twenty eight-year-old Indian tennis player Saketh Myneni has fulfilled the expectation that has been haunting him for many years now -- qualifying for the main draw of a Grand Slam. Now that the expectation has been ticked off, the athlete from Andhra Pradesh would be keen on yet another milestone -- progress to the second round of a Grand Slam.
Saketh will be seen live in action on Monday at the US Open 2016, where he takes on Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely in the men's singles first round. The match will get under way at the Court 11 and is the fourth scheduled match in the court.
In terms of ranking, Saketh doesn't match Vesely. While the Indian is ranked 143rd in the world, the Czech Republic tennis player, who is making his third appearance ever in US Open, is ranked 48th by the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals).
Vesely, 23, also has a height advantage over Saketh, who himself is significantly taller than most of his Indian counterparts. Saketh stands in at 6'4", while Vesely is 6'6".
Rankings and height advantage don't matter however when it comes to performing in major events. A look back at the recently-concluded Olympics gives us plenty of examples that even the underdogs can prosper on a day when they are full of tenacity and perseverance. Badminton star PV Sindhu remains the biggest example from India.
"I'm glad to have made it so far. I've been working on my game and fitness," said Saketh to ESPN. "But it's not something that can be improved upon in a day or a week or a month. Particularly, for someone like me who's not had a solid foundation in the early years, its twice as much harder."
Saketh, who has comparably been a late bloomer in his career, will be looking to make it to the top-100, never mind even if he doesn't get to record a win in his first tennis Grand Slam match. In case he gets a win, there is also the prospect of the Indian taking on World No 1 Novak Djokovic.
US Open 2016: Jiri Vesely vs Saketh Myneni is scheduled as the fourth match of the day from Court 11 and is expected to start at 2:30 p.m. EST [12 a.m. IST (Tuesday), 7:30 p.m. BST] on Aug. 29.
Where to watch live
India: TV: Ten 1, Ten 1 HD. Live Streaming: Tensports live.
US: TV: ESPN3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Europe: TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.
Canada: TV: TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport. Live Streaming: Sky Go NZ.
Middle East: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
China: TV: CCTV.
Japan: TV: Wowow TV.
International: Live Streaming: US Open website.