Deccan ITF: Chinese top-seed believes Raina, Thandi are Indian players to watch
Top seeded Jia Jing Lu says both have age in their hands and they will improve.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 16:38 IST
PUNE Although Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi are not playing in the ongoing Deccan ITF $25,000 women’s tennis tournament at Deccan Gymkhana, but they remain very much on the minds of top-seeds on court in Pune
Top seeded Jia Jing Lu from China, who will play her first match against Nudnida Luangnam today, has high praise for the top two Indian players.
“I have practiced with Ankita many times, have played her once and we are good friends. I know Thandi (Karman Kaur) as well. Both of them have age in their hands and they will improve,” said Jia Jing Lu, who practiced for an hour under the watch full eyes of the coach Olivier Grignard, on Tuesday.
“He (Olivier Grignard) is my coach for the last eight years. Under him, I changed all my techniques – forehand, backhand, serves and everything. I have lot of confidence in him,” said Lu, who finished runner up at the same event 2018, losing to Valeria Savinykh, 6-3, 2-6, 6-7 (7-9).
“This is my fourth visit to the city and I am very comfortable with everything, except maybe the weather,” added Jia Jing Lu, currently ranked 163 on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking.
“I was very simple player, but under my coach I learn top spin, to stay consistent and aggressive,” said Lu, who recently won the ITF $25,000 title in Gwalior and bowed out in the round of 16 in Bhopal.
“It has been good year. I hope to continue my good form,” added Lu.
Currently aged 30, Lu, wants to break into the WTA Top 100, which is her priority going into 2020.
“In March, I received my top ranking of 162, but then I was out of action for the next two months due to injury,” she said.
Lu had a mixed reaction when she came to know about her top seeding here in Pune.
“Generally I am not a top seed player, so It definitely brings pressure,” she said.
Meet the player
Name: Jia Jing Lu
Achievements: 18 ITF titles
Coach: Olivier Grignard