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When did you start playing and do you remember why you started?
I started playing tennis really late. I was 11 or 12 when I first held a racquet. It is funny how I got into tennis. Haha.My brother would play a lot of sports. My parents wanted me to play a sport too. First, they thought they would put me in the cricket academy next to my school, but that cricket academy was not for girls. Coincidentally there was a tennis academy right next to it. So my parents enrolled me in that place!
Any pre-match rituals you follow?
I don't believe in superstitions. But I do have some routines that I love to do before every single match or during a match.One of them is wearing my ankle braces. I always go with my left sock, right sock, right brace and left brace , in order. During the match, I will always use the towel after every 2 points.
One teacher you would like to have as your coach
I think that would be my mom.She has never played tennis but she has so much knowledge about the game, acquired by just sitting with me during practice and traveling with me for my matches.
One win that you are very proud of
Back in 2015, I played against one of the top players of the country. She was ranked high in the junior rankings too. I defeated her in straight sets. I am proud of that win because nobody believed I could win that match. People came up to me the day before and told me how hard my draw was and how sorry they were.
The toughest punishment given by your coach
Once during practice, when my partner and I lost a practice match our coach told us to run around the academy barefoot. It was in the afternoon and it was extremely hot! P.s. Do not ever try to run barefoot. You will get blisters or heat burns.
Is sport a natural talent or a skill that is developed?
Some people are born with the natural talent. Whereas, some people develop the skills through hard work and perseverance.
Perk of being an athlete
One of the major perks an athlete acquires is self-reliance. We get to be more independent and confident, which helps us even in making tough decisions. You learn to manage high-stress situations, often when they are the least convenient. You're under the pressure of your coaches, professors, and parents to do well, and it all begins to add up but you handle it, nevertheless.
I had to give a speech to 8th-grade students of IES School in Bandra. The kids were so amazing. That was the first time people wanted me to sign in their books, t-shirts or wanted pictures with me.
The opponent you dislike playing with?
I dislike playing players who can't keep up with the score or line calls.
What matters the most during 'Do or Die' situations?
The outcome, and how the outcome affects me.
If you could get a tattoo, what would it be?
It would be an Arabic saying, "ﻡﻟﻷﺍ ﻑﻔﺧﺗ ﺓﻼﺻﻟﺍ" which means "prayer relieves pain."
Best sports movie ever
The Blindside, Coach Carter, and Dangal are the best sports movies for me. (Sorry it was hard for me to name one, so I listed the best three)
Your short and long-term goals
My current short-term goal is to recover from all the injuries and finish this semester of college with a 4.0 GPA One of my long-term goals is to turn pro and work in the United Nations.
What's the last book you read?
The Triumvirate Histories Series. I read all the four books in the series within a week.
What is your funniest childhood memory?
The time I could not pronounce few syllables properly. I used to say "D-O" for "G-O-A". My family never fails to remind me about this.
Backbencher or a frontbencher
I was a backbencher but often had to sit on the front benches because I was short.
The *facepalm* moment
Every time someone reminds me of how short I am. Like thanks, but I clearly know about my height.
Describe ONE moment that you will never forget
I will never forget the moment I first held a tennis racquet. It was a pink Kamachi racquet. I still have the racquet!