It is hard to explain the feeling of being grounded, after playing one’s best tennis. Rutuja Bhosale had played a significant role in helping India qualify for the World Group play-off in FedCup, before the world went into lockdown.
Champions do not sit and brood, but they pick up a book and read, to prepare themselves for the road ahead.
"It is easy to be motivated for me! I am watching a lot of Grand Slam matches on Youtube,, all my favourite players. It will hopefully help me," said the 24-year-old Rutuja, the former Asian junior champion and national women’s champion, who studied Human Resources and Tourism
management in Texas A&M University.
Comfortably seated on the swing in her balcony, Rutuja has read a few books in the last few weeks. Of course, she does her fitness routine regularly, especially on the terrace.
"I stay calm, doing yoga, meditation. I love colouring," she said, quickly stressing that her mom, Neeta, a certified yoga teacher, has been making her do all the household work of cleaning and mopping.
She is super proud of her performance in the Fed Cup, especially in the matches against China and Chinese Taipei. But, Rutuja is more proud of her Police Inspector father Sampatrao, who has been working through the tough times, helping people.
"He has to go out and do his work. He loves his job. He is in a quarantine room at home, and we maintain a distance. He is doing so much for people. Am amazed and super proud of him," Rutuja said.
Going live on Facebook, Rutuja answered a flood of questions and helped young players and their parents get a perspective about education and sports.
"It was easy for me to choose tennis, as I was good at it. But myparents let me go to the US on scholarship and study," recalled Rutuja, about combining sports and education to have a strong
foundation for a bright career.
"It is not important to get 90% in education, but the effort matters," she said.
She was all praise for her coaches Sandeep Kirtane and Hemant Bendrey, who have tuned her tennis career sharp to help her make rapid strides, after a relatively late start.
The tennis scene may look bleak, but Rutuja was optimistic.
"Some people have lost points, and some have lost money. But, everyone is hopeful and working hard. They are eager to get on court. Am looking forward to have a head start with the domestic events," said Rutuja.
She had made the junior doubles semifinals of Australian Open with Aldila Sutjiladi of Indonesia, who went on to win the Asian Games mixed doubles gold in 2018. Rutuja aspires to work her way to compete in the Grand Slams.
Her mantra is simple. "Keep your had high, and keep working hard."
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