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She steps into the court by bowing down & touching the court, the ritual that was taught by her mom. Never represented India but she is trying hard to the fullest to grab the medal for the country. U14 and U16 category her National ranking is 32 &45 respectively. Currently holds the National women’s ranking 150. In 2017, she represented Pune University at West Zone Nationals. What drives you to go for training every day?
My love and passion for the game definitely drives me to get up every day for training. Also, the urge to become successful and be the best in what I am doing drives me even more to the court.
Any rituals you follow
Pre-match I always bow down and touch the court as I enter it, my mom has taught me to do this since childhood. I like to listen to music before my match. Also, both pre-and post-match I talk with my mother about the strategies and the other important points of the game.
One match that you are proud of
One win that I am very proud of is when I got into the U14 Maharashtra team. I was 11 and the youngest member of the team that time. I secured a position in the team by defeating many older and better seeded players to me. Also, another one when I won my first AITA TS title in Indore when I was 12. As I was down first and then made a comeback so it was an important win for me. It was the first winner’s trophy I got in singles.
What does it mean to you to represent India?
It would be an honour to represent India and will be the proudest moment for me and my family. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the chance yet. But I will strive hard to get it.
Your ultimate achievement?
Winning a Grand slam will be the ultimate achievement but I do not want to set any limitations to my achievements. I want to win and achieve everything.
How will you want to be known in 10 years from now?
I would love to be known as one of the most successful tennis player that the World has ever witnessed. I want to win as many tournaments as I can and excel in my sport.
Area of your game you need to improve?
I feel I have to work a lot on my serve as its one of the most important aspects of the game. Because of a year break to professional tennis, my fitness has gone down so I definitely need to work on that a lot. I feel an athlete should constantly keep on improving.
What is the worst mistake you have made on field and how did you deal with it?
One of the worst mistakes I have done on field was to change my game into defensive and play like the opponent is playing due to anxiety. Later, in the match my mom advised me to relax and play my natural aggressive game which helped me to deal with it.
How do you balance sports and studies?
I feel that it is equally important to balance both sports and studies. As I am pursuing engineering I make sure that every day in the evening after practice I give some time for college work and studies. Being an athlete definitely helps me in concentrating on studies in a better way.
Initial hurdles you faced and how did you tackle them?
Initially when I began playing tennis one of the biggest hurdles was, back in my hometown Amravati tennis wasn’t much developed so along with my mom I had to move to Pune for better tennis facilities.
Perks of being an athlete
Being an athlete, we have lot of perks. Sports builds up one’s character. Some of the other traits are a disciplined lifestyle, better focus and concentration which helps many in studies as well, time management. Dealing with stressful situations with confidence.
My short-term goals are to get into the top national ranking as soon as possible after my break in professional tennis and do well academically in college. I want to win gold medal for Pune university at national level. My long-term goal is to improve my ranking internationally and to get selected to play for the country and win medals.
If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of another athlete, who would it be?
I would love to wake up as Serena Williams someday. She is the greatest tennis player according to me and I would be glad to have the feeling of winning so many Grand slams also I would love to hit those powerful groundstrokes she hits with ease.
One habit that you want to break or you have broken?
One habit of mine that I want to break is that, I overthink a lot and get anxious in tough situations on and off court. I have to learn to be calm in tense and tough situations.
Lamest excuse you have ever given to your teacher?
The excuse that I give to my teachers in college is usually based either on training or tournaments.
Who do you want to be the flag bearer for India in 'TOKYO OLYMPICS 2020'
I feel PV Sindhu totally deserves to be the flag bearer in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. She has already won silver in Rio Olympics and she is performing incredibly well. Her world ranking is great as well.
If you could get a tattoo, what would it be?
If I ever get a tattoo it will certainly be related to tennis. I also want a travel related tattoo as I love to travel. Recently I liked a tattoo and I wish to get it done. It says “victory is in my veins.
Best sports movie ever. Why?
I loved watching Dangal. Being a feminist, I loved the fact that they broke the stereotypical notion of girls not taking up sports. I also liked Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Chak de India.
What’s on your bucket list?
1) Win all the Grand Slams
2) To play with all the legendary tennis players
3) To excel in tennis as well as in studies
4) To travel around the world
5) Do all the adventures in the world
Your plans & preparations for TOKYO 2020
I am improving my National ranking to be on the top in the National rankings and get selected to represent the country at the Olympics.
Scariest experience you have ever had?
When I go for rollercoaster rides, as I am scared of heights. Also, when I met with an accident while riding a two-wheeler. It was a really horrible one and later I had plasters all over my hands and legs.
“May the best player win, it is all about the time, place & luck”
Your most Embarrassing moment
When my childhood coach from Amravati had come to Pune to just watch my game and that wasn’t my day and I played terribly bad. Facepalm moment.
One super power you wish you had
One super power I wish to have is to fly. I love to travel so it will help me to fly anywhere in the world.
Greatest Indian athlete of all time
I feel Sania Mirza is by far the greatest Indian athlete of all time. Her contribution to Indian tennis is incredible. She is an inspiration to many.
My favorite athlete is Rafael Nadal. I feel extremely motivated watching him play as he is a fighter.
Your biggest inspiration
My Mom is my biggest inspiration. I learn a lot from her the way she works hard and never gives up. She motivates me and pushes me the most. Her positive outlook towards life and her patient nature inspires me a lot.