Your Fitness mantra
Never miss a leg day!
When did you start playing tennis?
I started playing tennis at the age of 10. There is a funny story behind why I started playing. My mother introduced my brother to the sport. I knew that my brother would stop playing, as he gets excited about something only in the beginning. So, I started playing tennis to show my mother that I was different and dedicated towards everything I did.
Any pre-match, post-match rituals you follow
It’s not a ritual as such, but yes, during the match I always place my kit on my left hand side and after every match I call up my mother.
One match that you are very proud of
The time I won the gold for my state in the school nationals is a proud victory for me. Nobody expected us to win and thought that we didn’t have a strong team. Moreover, the girl that I beat in the finals was the same girl to whom I lost the previous day in the individuals.
The toughest punishment given to you by your coach
Once, my coach told me to keep running till he tells me to stop because I forgot to wish one of the junior coaches in the morning.
You have a chance to play another sport. Which one would it be?
I’d like to play football. I like team sports and the energy that this game requires is incredible.
Your ultimate achievement?
Sky is the limit!
How will you want to be known in 10 years from now?
I want to be known as ‘Smriti Singh – The GOAT’ (Greatest Of All Time).
In what area of your game do you think you need to improve?
Majorly, I think, I need to improve my serves.
Is sports a natural talent or a skill that is developed?
It is a natural talent which needs to be developed by a lot of hard work and commitment, because that is all what counts in the end.
Your favorite opponent?
I like playing with a girl from the South. She always manages to give me my rhythm and pace.
Opponent you dislike playing with?
I dislike playing with anyone who doesn’t give proper calls.
Which club / association you play for?
I play for the All India Tennis Association.
Who had the greatest influence in your life?
A friend from the tennis circuit has a huge influence in my life. She taught me that the only expectation you should have is from yourself. She enlightened me at a very critical stage of my tennis and personal life.
Short term goals include winning the under 16 nationals, improving my serve and building up my women’s ranking.
My long term goal is to play at the NCAA.
One teacher you like to have as your coach
My mother! She knows me better than I know myself. I’d like to have her as my coach, though she loses her temper at times.
Plucking my own hair and putting it on my plate so that I don’t have to eat all the vegetables that my teacher forced me to eat.
Back bencher or a front bencher
I’m a back bencher who is forced to sit in front because I hardly attend school.
One unforgettable moment
Seeing Rafael Nadal enter the same court I was standing in is a moment that I’ll never forget. He came across the net and stood there to play with me. I was speechless. It’s a very memorable moment.
Your first encounter with a celebrity athlete
Mahesh Bhupathi was there to give away the trophies at a tournament that I won. It was such a proud moment.
One message to your opponents
I have beaten my fears now. Beware.
Your biggest achievements so far
1. Gold in the School Nationals for my state, Haryana
2. Gold in the under 14 states
3. Gold in the under 17 states
4. National Series doubles winner.
5. Super Series Winner.
6. HCL Inter-School Challenge winner singles and team event.
7. Many titles at the All India Tennis Association
Your World Ranking and National Ranking?
My National ranking is 15.