The young and the talented
Sushruta and Aishwarya are emerging tennis talents from the State
Looking ahead to a bright future - Photos: Mohd. Yousuf
THE RECENT Nike Junior Masters Tennis Tournament at Bangalore showcased the talent of two youngsters from Hyderabad. While Sushrutha Reddy claimed the girls under 14 singles crown, the under 12 title was bagged by Y.P. Aishwarya. Little wonder then that the duo was chosen for national duty in the Nike junior masters international tournament at Pompadour, France, set to kick off in about a month's time.
Sushrutha represented the country in the International junior championships of Sri Lanka, where she reached the quarter-finals, defeating local lass Thiyumi Abeysinghe and Aminath Maleela Solih enroute. In doubles too, she made her mark, pairing with Akshita B. Raj to reach the last eight stage of the Bangkok international junior championships. A week before, Sushrutha and Pooja Kommireddi had lost to the same opposition of Wing Yan Venise Chan of Hong Kong and Waratchaya Wongteanchai of Thailand.
An all court player, who does not hesitate to attack the net, Sushrutha is quite cerebral in her approach, making openings for herself and garnering points.
Her coach, S. Narendranath, feels she needs to exhibit her positive attitude better, for that would give her an edge against opponents. Her serve could do with some improvement though, that trait likely to accrue when she increases her overall fitness.
Coached by Sanjay Kumar, Aishwarya should go places if she continues with the tempo that clearly sets her apart from girls of her age.
Aishwarya gave up her hobbies Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music for tennis when as a nine year old she joined the Sunjay Tennis Academy. Urged by her coach to watch an International Tennis Federation women's tournament that was being staged at the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh tennis complex, the sprightly student of Hyderabad Public School watched the action till late into the night.
For two years, she took part in grass-root level competition, in the process acquiring a winning habit and attitude.
Her achievements are several, the most recent being the girls under 12 singles crown at the Nike junior masters at Bangalore. Leading up to this were several title wins in the Nutrine Naturo sub-junior, super series and talent search competitions. Adjudged the most upcoming and talented player in the all-India Public Schools Tennis championships at Gwalior earlier this year, Aishwarya is ranked 18th in the All-India Tennis Association under 14 listings.
She puts in about five hours of practice every day, says her father Venkat R. Puranam, who backs her completely. Her mother Madhavi gave up her job to accompany Aishwarya to various tournaments, while sibling Ayushi cheers her on.
A. JOSEPH ANTONY
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