Prithvi Sekhar keen to prove a point at Deaf World Championship

Preparing to play his part well in the Deaf World Championship in Turkey, Prithvi is excited about the progress he has made at the national and international level.

Prithvi Sekhar, who is leading the Indian team for the Deaf Tennis World championship, in Delhi.   -  Kamesh Srinivasan

For Prithvi Sekhar, hearing impairment is hardly an impediment for his sound plans for the future.

An engineer in Information Technology with a Masters degree in Business Administration, the 24-year-old Prithvi, who won the mixed doubles bronze medal in the Deaflympics last year with Jafreen Shaik, has put his career on a sound pedestal with a job in the Railways in Chennai.

Preparing to play his part well in the Deaf World Championship in Turkey, Prithvi is excited about the progress he has made at the national and international level.

‘’Recently I made my first ATP point’’, said Prithvi, quite excited to have qualified and won a round in a Futures event in China.

‘’My game improves when I play in the pro circuit’’, said Prithvi, who has risen to the top-30 at the national level with a string of good performances. He aims to be in the top-500 of the world by next year.

Quite pleased to be training with coach Suresh Kumar and a bunch of good players like Manish Sureshkumar, Gokul Suresh and Sai Samhitha at the Anna University, Prithvi explains that he believes in good preparation.

Apart from his proficiency in Tamil, English and German, Prithvi by force is adept with the sign language.

‘’When I play the deaf event, I have to remove my hearing aid. It is compulsory. It means I won’t be able to hear when they call out and when they tell the score. It is like a game for me. They use sign language to tell the score with the hand’’, he explained.

Having first competed in the Deaflympics in 2013 in Sofia, Bulgaria, Prithvi is keen to make his contribution to the team. He is confident that he can make an impact this time in the World Championship and in the next edition of Deaflympics.

‘’My aim is to win gold in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the Deaflympics. I will train hard and do my best in the professional circuit, as well as deaf tournaments’’, said Prithvi, quite confident
about stepping up to a higher standard of performance.

Wiry and athletic, with a whipping forehand, and a backhand that he believes is a weapon, Prithvi uses the power of silence to balance his career in a sound fashion.

With his parents having grown up with indigenous games like kabaddi and kho kho, Prithvi chose an individual game with their support, on the lines of his elder brother Praveen Sekhar who played tennis before settling down in the US.

‘’I want to play well in singles. The professional circuit gives me a lot of opportunities. I never think too much about the opponent and just try to play my best’’, he said.

Communication is his strength. Prithvi explains how he uses Google to translate and convey his requirements even in China.

More than pushing his career forward, Prithvi is doubly keen to help fellow players in the deaf arena, as they don’t have the confidence of communication which tends to subdue their game. To them, he is a young leader with a clear focus and a kind heart.