Zeel Desai hitting her stride in international tennis circuit

Since winning the women's title in the 2017 ITF circuit as a junior, Zeel Desai has improved on her game over the past few years.

Zeel Desai (Left) with her coach Todd Clark.

It is hard to beat a local girl. Zeel Desai had a bitter taste of the truth when she fought for three hours and 55 minutes, before being beaten by top seed Sandra Samir of Egypt in the ITF women’s final in Cairo on Sunday.

The title may have eluded her, but the 21-year-old Zeel, accompanied by coach Todd Clark, has got a firm grip on her game and temperament.

In beating quality opponents with considerable authority, prior to the final, Zeel did show her growing game, as much as her all round ability by making the doubles final.

Mentored by Clark at the Ahmedabad Racquet Academy, Zeel won the women’s title in the 2017 ITF circuit in Gwalior. The Australia is confident that Zeel, ranked No.686 in the world, would break into the top-500 over the next three weeks when she competes in Tunisia.

"It is great to see an athlete evolve, both physically and mentally. Zeel competed from the first point until the last, and was in good shape physically at the end of the match," said Todd, quite pleased with his ward.

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"Zeel is now becoming more professional in all aspects of her training and match play. It is exciting to see," the coach observed.

On top of her discipline and professionalism, Zeel has the penchant to learn and improve, which has strengthened her foundation.

"Zeel is learning from each and every match, regardless of the outcome. Today’s match was no exception. I am confident that today’s outcome will further strengthen Zeel’s mental qualities for future events," remarked Todd, easily one of the best coaches guiding Indian players.

For a tough Aussie like Todd, there is no room for excuses, and only the drive and desire matter, to take a player forward.

Zeel is definitely on the right track, and moving forward at a brisk pace, which is good for Indian women’s tennis.

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