Rutuja Bhosale keen to sustain the successful start

Rutuja Bhosale is keen to sustain the winning momentum after bagging the singles title in the $15,000 ITF women’s tournament in Egypt on Sunday.

Rutuja Bhosale

With limited options, as many tournaments have been cancelled around the world, Rutuja Bhosale decided to compete in Egypt as she was familiar with the place. (File Image)   -  Vivek Bendre

Rutuja Bhosale made a successful return to the professional tennis circuit by clinching the singles title in the $15,000 ITF women’s tournament in Egypt on Sunday.

The secret to her winning start has been handling the lockdown with patience and training well, both physically and mentally. She also married cricketer Swapnil Gugale during the lockdown.

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"It was very exciting to step into the competitive world again. Everyone had been training during pandemic and were eager to get out, and I got the chance finally," Rutuja said from Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, where she will be parked for a few weeks for more tournaments.

With limited options, as many tournaments have been cancelled around the world, she decided to compete in Egypt as she was familiar with the place.

"I have been here before, so thought it should be a decent place to start," she said.

She had played a key role in India’s progress in FedCup earlier this year. "I was ready to keep going as my shoulder was handling all the load better, even in practice. Then the break after FedCup (happened). But the part where I have been injured so many times has taught me to be patient. I think it helped," she observed.

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Being an optimist, Rutuja was able to see more positive points emerging out of the pandemic.

"I feel that being with family was also needed. It also gave me and my husband the time to think about our future. And we didn’t have to take a break for it’’, said Rutuja, who married Swapnil in August.

With cricket not resuming at the national level, Swapnil has been able to help Rutuja settle into a new house and accompany her during training.

"He is a sportsperson and knows how the schedule can be, even being at home! Overall he is such a happy, cheery person, and keeps the mood happy’’, she said.

For the next few weeks, Rutuja will try to sustain the success and climb the ranking ladder.