Sharmada pleased with doubles title

Sharmada Balu and Sravya Shivani beat the top seeds Dalayna Hewitt of the US and Elena Milovanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-3 in the doubles final of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Monastir, Tunisia.

Sharmada Balu (Left) and Sravya Shivani (Right) with the ITF women's doubles title in Tunisia.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Sharmada Balu and Sravya Shivani beat the top seeds Dalayna Hewitt of the US and Elena Milovanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-3 in the doubles final of the $15,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament in Monastir, Tunisia.

It was her 16th doubles title in the professional circuit, and first this season for Sharmada who has returned to the game after five years.

It was a maiden doubles title in the ITF circuit in her third doubles final for the 21-year-old Sravya, who had done well to reach the singles quarterfinals as well.

"I am extremely happy with this win. It was not expected this week’’, was the candid response of the 28-year-old Sharmada.

"I didn’t go with any expectation this week, and it works the best that way’’, she said.

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Sharmada and Sravya had won two AITA titles before the international circuit, and were slowly getting into their rhythm over four weeks in Tunisia.

"We get on really well off court, and the energy is great on court’’, observed Sharmada who has won titles with Rishika Sunkara, Sowjanya Bavisetti, Prarthana Thombare and Dhruthi Venugopal among others.

"Each one of them have their unique style of play. I adapt very well to their strengths. Sravya also brings a lot of things to the table. Since we train together, it is a lot easier for us’’, said Sharmada,
who trains at the Rohan Bopanna Academy in Bengaluru with coach M Balachandran.

"We have three more weeks here. Thereafter, we return home and get ready for the National championship’’, said Sharmada who would continue to play singles but focus a little more on doubles.

Under the guidance of Balachandran and Rohan Bopanna, Sharmada has also been enjoying coaching stints at the Sports School.

"Surprisingly I enjoy coaching after being unsure about it. It gives me a completely different perspective. When you are telling someone what to do, you realise that is exactly what you need to do! I am enjoying both sides of the coin’’, Sharmada said.

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