Prarthna turns to farming with no tennis amid pandemic

Rio Olympian Prarthna Thombare is putting her best foot forward while helping her mother and younger sister construct a water reservoir in her hometown.

Rio Olympian and tennis player Prarthna Thombare (left) with her mother and sister at home in Solapur.

Rio Olympian and tennis player Prarthna Thombare (left) with her mother and sister at home in Solapur.   -  Special Arrangement

For Rio Olympian Prarthna Thombare, it is a different kind of experience!

The 25-year-old tennis player, who joined Sania Mirza Tennis Academy a few years ago, is now into farming.

Stuck at her hometown Barshi near Solapur in Maharashtra, Prarthna is putting her best foot forward while helping her mother and younger sister construct a water reservoir on their sprawling agricultural plot to facilitate crop rotation.

“It is not that I stopped playing tennis. It is difficult to be away from the sport. Unfortunately, the only tennis court available in my City is on the premises of a hospital which is now a COVID-19 isolation centre,” says Prarthna, who won the women’s doubles bronze in the 2014 Asian Games partnering six-time Grand Slam winner Mirza.

“In fact, I have made some drastic changes to my game after an in-depth study of my game in the recent past. I realised that I was not really moving forward as much as I should. So, you will hopefully see a different Prarthna,” she said.

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“So, with no option to play the game at any level, I thought this is the best time to try my hand in agriculture and I am definitely enjoying it,” she says.

“Obviously, tennis is my first love and I will be back in Hyderabad at the earliest once the inter-state transport services are restored,” says Prarthna, also an assistant manager with Indian Oil.

“I do have targets in tennis like the first one is to break into the top 200. It is not going to be easy after such a long break but fortunately I have been able to maintain a decent fitness level during the lockdown,” she explains.

“I don’t think life and sport will be the same as and when normalcy is restored from this pandemic. There are bound to be a lot of changes in especially the way we train and play tournaments. For sure, travelling around will be the biggest challenge given the virus threat,” she concluded.

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