Tennis star Ankita Raina stormed among the top-200 of world rankings this year. She is the fifth Indian woman to have made it among the top 200 in singles. The WTA list in April announced Ankita’s career-best rank of 197, the PTI reported. Recently, the 24-years-old Raina beat Japan’s Risa Ozaki to win her second singles title at the $25,000 ITF tournament in Thailand.
Here’s why she is among our best bets in Asian Games 2018:
How Tennis happened
The Ahmedabad-born girl started playing tennis at the age of five. The champ comes from a middle-class Kashmiri family. Drawing inspiration from Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Sania Mirza and Roger Federer. She is, so far, India’s quickest players on the courts. Raina is coached by Hemant Bendre at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana in Pune.
Ankita’s first professional performance was at an ITF tournament in Mumbai in 2009. Ankita has also won six singles and thirteen titles on the ITF tour in her career.
“I have done so much hard work and remained patient to get to this point. I was between 200 and 250 bracket for some time and it takes time to break the barrier. It’s tough out there,” Ankita said while she was competing in the ITF circuit, the PTI reported.
- Raina’s first professional singles title came in 2012, in New Delhi, where she also won three doubles titles.
- In October 2013, Raina achieved a career-high singles ranking of No 291.
- In 2015, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 222. In the same year for doubles, she was ranked at world number 260.
- The year 2016 came as a turning point in her career when she won gold medals in women’s singles and mixed doubles events at the South Asian Games.
- Raina is the fifth Indian national to crack to top-200 ladies’ singles rankings. With this, she joined the league of Sania Mirza, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao. If the ranking stays stable and she betters her scores, then Ankita will get to enter the main draw of the WTA 125k series tournaments.
- She put on a stellar show during the Fed Cup Asia, remaining undefeated throughout the week while beating top-100 players like Lin Zhu of China and Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. “Since the Fed Cup, I am happy with my game. I am getting the opportunities, and more importantly, I am grabbing them. Of course, improvement is always required. I am trying to improve every day, the small things,” Ankita opened up to sportstarlive.com.
“Ranking is a number. Yes, but you need it to play at the higher level. I want to play in the Grand Slams.” – Ankita Raina
Tennis games will be held at the JSC Tennis Court, Palembang, Indonesia from 19 to 25 August.
SheThePeople.TV wishes all athletes best of luck at the upcoming Asian Games.
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Feature Image Credit: NDTV