Indian tennis star Riya Bhatia looks ahead with confidence

The 23-year-old Riya Bhatia has worked well to improve her game despite being reduced to a reserve for the Billie Jean King Cup World Group play-off match against Latvia

Despite being left out from India's Billie Jean King Cup World Group play-off match against Latvia, Riya beat the former top-50 player, Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, in a tournament in Latvia, recently. (FILE PHOTO)   -  A.M. Faruqui

It comes naturally for most of us to find fault with the world. It takes some effort to sport the right attitude, introspect and find a way forward.

Being reduced to the role of a reserve, despite being ranked second best in the country behind Ankita Raina, for the Billie Jean King Cup World Group play-off match against Latvia, the 23-year-old Riya Bhatia worked on improving her game by featuring in tournaments around the world.

‘’Probably, I wasn’t good enough to be part of the team this time. I am working on improving myself so that I can make my country proud in future’’, said Riya, who had made the doubles final of a $25,000 event in Portugal with Gabriela Ce of Brazil.

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She was part of the national team when it had qualified for the World Group play-off for the first time. As if to make a point, Riya beat the former top-50 player, one of the towering personalities in Asian women’s tennis, Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan, in a tournament in Latvia recently.

‘’It was raining in Liepaja. We had to start our match on really wet courts, with just an extended warm-up. It was cold, tough to move, and favourable for the more experienced Akgul. I just focused on being consistent and tried the things that I had been working on in training’’, recalled Riya.

Riya is categorical about fitness being ‘’the most important part in tennis’’, especially after practising yoga and kriya regularly following a training stint with the Art of Living group in 2020.

‘’Yoga plays an important part in our lives, both physically and mentally. I was lucky to be part of the Art of Living course. It has been a boon for me, especially during all the uncertainties caused by the pandemic’’, said Riya.

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A proud member of the ‘Indian Oil family’, Riya has been competing in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, South Africa, Dubai, Portugal, Spain apart from Latvia this season, thanks to the support of her doting parents.

‘’I have been travelling alone for a long time now as it is very expensive. My family is cheering me from home, no matter where I am in the world’’, Riya said.

‘’I am working on all aspects of my game, as there is tremendous scope to improve and reach the next level’’, the 357th ranked Riya said.

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