Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rising to the challenge - The Hindu 14-02-2012 , The School Of Power Tennis

NET TRICKS Saketh Myneni. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
NET TRICKS Saketh Myneni. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
The new national champion Saketh is determined to make it big
He wants to stand tall – not just in terms of height (he is 6 foot, 3 inch) — but in stature too, in Indian tennis. Clearly, Saketh Sai Myneni fresh from being crowned as the new national tennis champion in Kolkata is aiming high. Back in the city after a five-year stint in United States where he combined academics and tennis training, Saketh feels that the atmosphere for sports has changed a lot back home. “This is the big win when you consider I had been consistent right through the championship week,” he looks back at the Kolkata triumph.
This gifted player too has been trained by the dedicated C. V. Nagaraj at the RRC Grounds which also produced the Davis Cupper J. Vishnuvardhan, Suresh Krishna (incidentally the one who lost to Saketh at the final in Kolkata).
The 2005 Junior national champion Saketh is delighted that there is a sea-change in the general sports scenario in the city, as it is no more cricket-centric. “I am really happy that many champions from different disciplines are making a mark now at the national and international level,” he points out. Saketh has decided to focus only on tennis and is not even looking for any job opportunity. This 24-year-old tennis player, who completed his Majors in Finance & Economics in Alabama University, doesn't believe that he will be weighed down by the expectations, especially after his two big titles in the last few weeks – the Futures and the Kolkata Nationals. “As a professional you have to be ready for anything. I always believe that learning is an endless process. There is always a scope for improvement,” feels the enthusiastic new star on the tennis horizon. “Yes, my big serve (often clocking 230 kmph) is the strong point right now and my first love is grass court. But since there are many hard-court tournaments scheduled, I am aware of the importance of being equally good on these surfaces too,” he explains. For someone who admires the former US great Andre Agassi, Saketh is really working hard to be a quality player with the desired all-round game. “I am fortunate to have such a dedicated gentleman like Nagaraj sir. He is more like a mentor to me. Always ensures that my energy levels are high,” were his compliments to his guru.

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