While most people his age would be enjoying their college lives and revelling in the rains, this 17 year old Puneite is doing our country proud with his stellar performance in tennis.
Pune365 speaks to Siddhant Banthia from Kalyani Nagar who is now as the country’s highest ranked junior singles player who is striving heard to become a world champion in the years to come.
“Getting acknowledged by parents, coaches, and winning fame at such a young age motivated me to pursue tennis as my career…
His day starts with training in Solaris club at Kothrud, practising for tennis for three hours a day post which he is at college where he gets to spend some time with his friends. Come evening, and Siddhant is at the gym for an hour to work his way to entering the senior circuit
Initially, I started with cricket, but team games weren’t something of my interest, I always wanted to play single.
Tennis grabbed my attention and I started playing at the age of 9, and soon I won my first competition.
Banthia says he is lucky enough to have supportive parents while choosing sports as his career. They have always motivated me, even when I had lost a match.
When asked about the challenges faced while preparing, Siddhant said, “Tennis is a very expensive sport, for tournaments you need professional national and international coaches, fitness trainers and sponsors to meet the essential needs of a player.
Talking about the game, I play a very tactical game, and that is my strength.
Reading the opponent well, and mixing your strategy has been the key to win the game.
Dedication is another important aspect, which is essential while playing tennis. No sport is a cake walk, so one needs to be very patient while playing.
Siddhant also spoke about the lack of sponsorship by the Indian government, though Maharashtra government has helped him and have also started providing funds.
“But India still lacks when it comes to giving access to coaching from great coaches, though our country is blessed with great tennis coaches and players.
Infrastructure needs to improve, We need to have a good team and a great association for players coaching, there is a lot of improvement needed.
Siddhant was always inspired by Rohan Bopanna and Novak Djokovic. I try to learn their techniques and follow them while I play. They have always been inspiring and learning from them helped me succeed.
Rohan Bopanna currently is a mentor to me, he has often discussed the strategies and helped with new techniques. Am very lucky to have such a good mentor.
Till date Siddhant has won all the trophies on the national level and recently won the doubles at Poland open. He is not set his sights on success at the final major of the year at Flushing Meadows, New York, in August.
Speaking about his road ahead, he says, “I have played in all four levels as a junior player, and won many of the trophies.
I hope to do the same in the senior circuit as well.
And with dedication and patience, am also aiming to become the world’s best Tennis Player,” he adds signing off.
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