Pune tennis players eye US universities for better training, facilities
For players who want to excel in professional tennis, one eye is set on becoming a top junior player and another one on US college tennis teams.
Following the footsteps of Arjun Kadhe, Rutuja Bhosale – many players are now opting to spend five years of their career at US universities as it gives them a chance for overall development with academics and sports.
“If you have a good game then there is no issue in opting for U.S college tennis. The best part is you get a scholarship, education is free and you have a lot better facilities to train. Generally, in India players evolve after the age of 23 so spending 18-23 in the U.S is always a good decision,” explains Hemant Bendrey, coach of Ankita Raina, Rutuja Bhosale and Arjun Kadhe.
“One can easily get back into professional tennis circuit after they are back from the U.S and in those four years you get a lot of exposure,” added Bendrey.
Kadhe was part of the Oklahoma state university team in 2014-17 while Bhosale joined Texas A&M from 2013-2017.
“It was one of my career-best decisions, as it developed me as a person and a player. I became a much better player and not only on the court but also off the court it has taught me many things about life,” said Kadhe who was national collegiate athletic association (NCAA) no 1 ranked player for four seasons.
“When you play college tennis, it is that you play for your team than yourself which I learned while playing for my team. It gives you an intensity which helps you a lot in the professional circuit,” added Kadhe who graduated with a business management major and marketing minor.
For Bhosale, initial days were tough with the team and with academics as understanding the accent of the professor was not easy.
“My coaches and my academic advisors helped me a lot and they were very helpful. Visiting Texas A&M helped me a lot because before that, I was very shy and had no idea of what to do with my career and my life but as time progressed I became confident,” said Bhosale.
“I don’t know if I hadn’t chosen to go for college tennis, where I would have been right now professionally and I don’t regret those four years,” added Bhosale.