From a 'mud court' to hard courts, Prarthana Thombre's journey has been a bumpy one. Between shifting cities and hunting for sponsors, the 17-year-old is taking baby steps in the women's ITF circuit.
Prarthana started playing on a patch of land, which her grandfather owned. That was the only court in Barshi in Solapur district of Maharashtra and not the kind of arena which would inspire a child to take up the sport. The family moved to Pune in search of good courts and coaches.
Today, Prarthana, who has started playing after a two-month injury layoff, which gave her time to appear for her Class XII exam, is optimistic about the next three months. In fact, such was her hurry to get back into action that she even went to Aurangabad in between two papers for a tournament.
"The injury and studies affected my fitness but I think I lost here because of mental pressure," she said about her performance in the $10,000 ITF tournament at the RK Khanna Stadium. On Wednesday, she and Natasha Palha lost in the doubles quarters to Rushmi Chakravarthy and Ankita Raina.