Tennis in India is still in its nascent stage. Though the trend has changed of late, as new talents are coming out in this sport. It was quite a time ago that we just had names of Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi for representation of Indian Tennis. The likes of Rohan Bopanna, Somdev Devvarman have got some credits to their name. Apart from them, a name very new for the Indian masses in tennis field, Karman Kaur, won her first ITF title on Saturday. We take a look at her journey that still has a long way to go.
This was her fourth final ever since her debut in 2015 as a 16-year-old. Earlier this month, she could not open her professional account in the ITF tournament in Thailand. India’s second highest-ranked women’s singles player, currently at World no. 261, Kaur, defeated World No. 185, 6-4,6-2. She didn’t drop a single set over five matches, nor did she commit a single double fault. The start of the year was not very great as she lost to World No. 53 of Kazakhstan and number 80 from China. The losses have made her mentally strong and aware about the importance of every point in the game.
Mentoring her way
The 20-year-old girl is getting it done under the mentorship of multiple grand slam winner, Mahesh Bhupathi. On the day before finals, an advice from the Indian Tennis great helped her get things right. “Just believe in yourself”, Mahesh had said over a phone call. Now with professional career being decorated with an ITF title, Bhupathi prepares big for Kaur. He said, ‘It is a stepping stone. It is her fifth final. Let us not get carried away as it is a $25K win. Her goal is to break the top-100 in 24 months and play Wimbledon qualifiers next year this time. Winning matches boosts confidence and that is the key.’
As we get to see more players budding in the country, the prospects of Indian representation increases at the world level. Which India’s highest ranked tennis player Ankita Raina, competing in the Wimbledon qualifiers, Karman too hopes for the same. Setting her target currently on breaking into top 200, India’s budding tennis player aims big.