Right handed Indian tennis player stepped to the court when she was eight. She was a very active and energetic kid. She was initially introduced to tennis and karate, but tennis is what she was really passionate about. One match that she is proud of is beating a South African girl in ITF Grade 2 tournament. The opponent was ranked at least 800 places above her. It was a very close match and she was happy to have pulled it off.
Are you a Predator or a Buddha when you on field?
I am more of a Buddha when I am on court. I tend to stay calm and do not react much. I also tend to smile sometimes when I play at a silly point. I think it helps to take off the pressure inside me.
One teacher you would like to have as your coach
I would like to have my mother as my coach. She hasn’t played the game but with all the exposure due to travelling she definitely knows how to keep me grounded and disciplined during tournaments. She is the one person who never lets me get carried away by a win or a loss. I know she has got my back.
One match that you are very proud of
Well, one win that I am really proud of has to be beating a South African girl in an ITF GRADE 2 tournament. She was hugely built and was ranked at least 800 places above me. I was a little intimidated in the beginning. It was a very close match and I am happy to have pulled it off.
Toughest punishment given to you by your coach
I was made to sit out for an entire session. It was really difficult to sit on the sides and not play. I still remember that day.
What does it mean to you to represent India?
To represent India means a lot of responsibility and respect for the sport you play. It is like a dream come true wherein you are representing your country.
Your ultimate achievement
My ultimate achievement would be to become No.1 in the World. Everyone who picks up the racquet dreams of being No.1 at some point in their lives. I am waiting for that memorable moment.
How will you want to be known in 10 years from now?
10 years from now, I would want to be known as someone who was calm and light-headed person. I strongly believe that it is the character that defines you and all materialistic things will eventually pass away.
Is sports a natural talent or a skill that is developed?
There is a saying, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. While sports could be a natural talent, if enough effort is not put in developing the skill, the natural talent will take you nowhere.
Perks of being an athlete
You get to travel a lot and experience different cultures and taste different cuisines. You are also treated as an important person in school and I love every bit of that attention.
You are chosen to endorse a brand and you get to choose the other cast. Who will it be?
I would love to endorse BURBERRY! I would definitely want Roger Federer to be a part of the endorsement. Also, Ranbir Kapoor and Gigi Hadid. I have a lot more in mind, but these three would be perfect.
You have a chance to play another sport. Which one would it be?
I am really happy and blessed to play tennis. So, I would rather use that chance to play more tennis!
Opponent you dislike playing with?
There is no opponent that I dislike playing with. But those who make wrong calls and cannot keep track of the score really annoy me.
Who had the greatest influence in your life?
My parents have the greatest influence in my life. They are the people who have raised me with great values and morals. They have seen me giving up and yet motivated me to come back stronger. They never let any obstacle come in my career and it is very inspiring to see how they support me. I owe whatever I am today to them.
If you were to be stranded on a deserted island for one month, which one of your teammates would you want to bring with you?
I would get my best friend Fatema! We have a lot to gossip about which we usually don’t as we don’t get time due to my schedule. So, I really think the one month on the island with her would help me catch up on all of them!
Your most prized possession?
My family is my most prized possession. We are a very close-knit family and was always there for each other. I would never ever want to lose them.
If you could get a tattoo, what would it be
The whole idea of getting pierced makes me panicky. I am a person who makes a fuss even for getting an injection.
Best sports movie ever
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is my favorite amongst all the sports movies. It really inspired me and everyone who watched it. Such movies should be made to show us all what the athletes have actually gone through to become who they are today.
One teacher you recommend should take up anger management?
My fitness trainer definitely has to. Hopefully that would stop him from punishing me every time I am late.
Your favorite team/club
I like the CHENNAI SUPER KINGS. I am not a very big fan of cricket but whenever CSK plays, I am ready with my popcorn.
What’s on your bucket list?
Right on top of my bucket list is to go on a holiday to France.
I also want to get a dog for myself and name it Timmy because I have always enjoyed reading the Famous Five series. Last would be to go out on a dinner with Roger Federer.
One place you really want to travel to?
I want to travel and explore France. It is a very beautiful country. Someday, I wish to explore the streets of France and make French friends.
Who do you think knows you the best?
My mom knows me the best. She can easily figure out if something is wrong just by looking at my face.
One super power you wish you had
I would fly someday. It sounds so much fun to be flying in the sky with birds as your friends. And importantly, not getting stuck in the traffic!
“Your legs are not giving out. Your head is giving out.
One moment that you won’t forget
I would never forget the moment I won my first tournament. I was a little girl and I remember being carried away by that win for a long time. That trophy will always be my most cherished one.
Greatest Indian athlete of all time
I guess it has to be Sachin Tendulkar. He has been the Nation’s pride and got laurels to the country.
Your favorite food you could not live without?
I cannot live without the Biryani, my mother makes. She is a great cook and we all look forward to having it every weekend
Your first encounter with a celebrity athlete
I met David Ferrer at a gym in Valencia. At that time, he had just played the French Open and I was very overwhelmed to have met him. He was a very humble person and that inspired me a lot.