Rashmikaa attributes national hardcourt championship win to meditation, hard work

The 19-year-old, now ranked India No. 16, says the timing of her national title couldn’t have been better.

Shrivalli Rashmikaa

The newly-crowned national hard court tennis champion Shrivalli Rashmikaa (centre) with her parents B.R.N. Prasad and B. Rajshri at her home in Hyderabad on Monday.   -  Special Arrangement

The newly-crowned national hardcourt tennis championship women’s singles winner, Shrivalli Rashmikaa, attributes her memorable win to "hours of working on all aspects of the game and meditation to stay mentally calm under pressure".

The 19-year-old young talent, now ranked India No. 16, says the timing of her national title couldn’t have been better as it happens to be her fourth major tournament after the lockdown. She had earlier finished as runner-up in the AITA Chennai tournament and crashed out after the first round of the ITF events in Pune and Delhi.

“Definitely, the tag of a national champion means a lot and I never expected it would happen so quickly. I felt proud when I saw my name on the display board with all those big names alongside,” she said.

“This is a win which is a morale-booster and makes me dream big of the days to come,” says the gifted player.

“Honestly, getting back to rhythm on the court was never an issue as it took me just three weeks. The efforts were always there when at home even during the lockdown as I stayed in touch with the coaches,” she said in a chat with Sportstar.

“Training with A.R. Anand Kumar at Anand Tennis Academy and with M. Ravichander Rao Sir at Sinnet Tennis Academy is really helping me a lot,” says the B.Com (Honours) student of St. Francis College (Begumpet).

Rashmikaa says it is a great feeling to have strengthening exercises alongside badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu at the Suchitra Academy.

“It is such an inspirational experience to train along with someone like Sindhu who is such a nice and humble human being under the guidance of G. Sivaprasad sir,” she said.

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For someone who adores Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova, Rashmikaa is determined to improve her WTA rankings (now No. 1100) before the end of the year and realise the dream of playing in a Grand Slam at the earliest.

“It is a tough journey ahead but I am ready for the challenges even as I am already in the preparatory mode for the two $25,000 events in April and May in Haryana and for the European circuit later on,” she concluded.