Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The School of Power Tennis - Tennis star in the making - Indian Express Post

First Published : 08 Mar 2011

HYDERABAD: Son of a Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable and struggling to find funds to play in tournaments, Adduri Suresh Krishna has overcome all odds to script a fairytale to win the National grasscourt tennis title at Kolkata. The 21-year-old rising star from Tukaram Gate in Secunderabad defeated Ashutosh Singh of Delhi 6-4, 7-6 (6) in the men’s singles final last week. 

“It is one of the biggest wins of my career,’’ said the lanky Krishna, who is back in the city to play in the Moin-ud-Dowlah tennis tournament at Secunderabad Club. In a way, it is justification of the faith shown in him by his father A Seshagiri and coach Nagaraj. “Yes, it is a victory for my father also. He spotted the talent in me at a very young age and sacrificed a lot for my tennis career, including selling off few of our assets. His sacrifices disturbed me at times but my father always encouraged me saying, ‘Go ahead with the game. We are here to support you.’”

Krishna had difficulty in getting good racquets and skipped many tournaments for lack of funds. “It was a very hard grind. I was hard-pressed as I had only two or three racquets. It was difficult to purchase good racquets and shoes. Even taking part in tournaments was very difficult because the entry fee was around Rs.10,000,’’ he said.

Krishna and his coach Nagaraj tried to find sponsors but without success. “He won the National under-18 title when he was 15. He also won the junior ITF tournaments whenever he participated and could have won more if he had the money needed for practice and participation,’’ said Nagaraj. Incidentally, immediately after winning the national title, Head, a tennis company came forward to supply raquets to Krishna. The funds crunch has eased a bit after he was given a job by the South Central Railway.

Nagaraj, who has produced three Davis Cuppers Sushil Narla, Punna Vishal and Vishnu Vardhan at his modest Secunderabad tennis centre, says he saw raw talent in Krishna. “I remember Krishna’s father and his friend Subba Rao introducing a nine-year-old Krishna. He was gawky and hungry,’’ recalled Nagaraj.

Krishna’s interest in tennis grew after he saw Subba Rao’s son Jagadish playing tennis. “Seeing my passion for the game, my father and Subba Rao uncle initiated me into tennis. Jagadish even gave me his raquet,’’ said Krishna. Within a few months of training, he won the under-18 National title at the age of 15. He also won the ITF junior titles in 2007 and 2008. “He has good kicking serves and is an all-round player. He is comfortable on all surfaces. He is also very athletic,’’ said Nagaraj.

This year, the in-form Krishna has clinched the All-India ranking tournament at Trichy prior to the senior National tournament. In the entire tournament he lost only a single set to PC Vignesh (AP) in the quarter-finals on his way to his maiden national title.

From here what? “I wish the sponsors come forward to help him. It is important to play in tournaments outside India to gain international exposure. He has the talent to go places,’’ said Nagaraj.

For Krishna, who idolises Pete Sampras (for his serve) and Leander Paes (for his attitude), playing for the country in the Davis Cup is his biggest dream. “The next few years will be very crucial,’’ said Krishna, on a concluding note.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

The school of Power Tennis Boy A.S. Suresh Krishna take National grass-court Title 2011

THE HINDU POST - 06-03-11 -  A.S. Suresh Krishna of Andhra Pradesh reserved his best for the final and defeated Ashutosh Singh of Delhi to take the title in the National Jute Board-National grass-court tennis tournament here on Saturday.
The tournament had a set of new champions as Kyra Shroff of Maharashtra took the women's crown with a determined demolition of her opponent Aishwarya Agrawal.
Kyra could not make it a grand double as she lost the women's doubles final partnering Bengal's Shivika Burman. The Gujarat-Delhi combination of Ankita Raina and Rishika Sunkara claimed the crown.
New hero
The tournament's biggest gain was the emergence of Suresh Krishna as the new hero on grass. The player, never in the reckoning prior to the start of the tournament, came up with a series of outstanding results at different stages of the main draw.
The 21-year-old player from the School of Power Tennis, Hyderabad bettered the defending champion in every department of the game to carve out a straight-set win.
Ashutosh, definitely one of the best players on grass, served a battery of aces to announce his presence, but his younger opponent showed better fitness and court coverage to create the difference in the end.
With both the players serving well, unseeded Ashutosh enjoyed the initial advantage when he earned the first break point in the fourth game. Suresh, seeded sixth in the tournament, salvaged the situation firing in two big serves that unsettled his opponent's rhythm.
Suresh made no mistake in the seventh game when he forced a break point on a weaker Ashutosh serve and ensured the break with a fine cross-court return. The break, the only one of the match, fetched Suresh the first set 6-4.
Moving rather sluggishly, Ashutosh let go another opportunity in the fourth game when he failed to drive home the advantage of a break point.
The tie-breaker became inevitable as both players held serve. The Andhra Pradesh player showed great character in winning the tie-breaker 7-1 to take the set and match in 92 minutes.
“I served well and got my shots right in the crucial points. Otherwise it was not possible to beat a great grass-court player like Ashutosh, whom I have admired since childhood,” said Suresh Krishna after his win.