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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

No way past hard work. Success doesn’t come easy, says Ankita Raina, tennis player

Being a foodie with a strict diet plan is tough, but Raina sails through it with grace

pune Updated: Jan 15, 2019 17:13 IST
Jigar Hindocha
Jigar Hindocha
Hindustan Times, Pune
Ankita raina in action.
Ankita raina in action.(HT PHOTO)

While the courts see Ankita Raina focused with her entire attention towards the game, there is a lot more to her once steps out of her tennis shoes.Raina, 24 going on 25 in eight days is a bibliophile with a soft spot for pani puri. “I am a hard core foodie, but there is nothing that beats my mother’s home made pani puri” says Raina who won the nation’s heart by winning the bronze medal in Jakarta-Palembang 2018 Asian games.

Being a foodie with a strict diet plan is tough, but Raina sails through it with grace. “While I am travelling for tournaments I only eat whatever the diet plan has in store for me. I let myself indulge whenever I am home or have an off day tennis. I eat everything in limit and sweet is something I avoid,” added Raina.

Embracing tennis at the young age of four, Raina took everything one step at a time. “It was a gradual process. My mother is a sports fanatic and she kept encouraging and supporting me. My parents and my brother have been with me every step of the way from under-8 to under-14 categories and as the journey progressed till date,” explains Raina.

One of the many feathers on Raina’s hat includes classical dance. “I took Bharatanatyam classes for seven years at Mudra dance class in Ahmedabad when I was in school. I am always up for dancing. It helps me freshen up.” 

Other than dancing, Raina also loves reading, drawing and watching bollywood movies on the big screen. “It is difficult to concentrate on a book when you’re tired so I read whenever possible. I love mythological books and recently completed Ramayana. I personally believe mythology helps you inculcate qualities like patience, how to avoid over thinking and maintaining a peaceful state of mind.These qualities helped me lot on field, this past year.” said Raina.

Brother sister relationship

“My older brother Ankur is my strength. I started playing tennis watching him. He taught me the basics and I am glad to have him as a part of my support staff. Even today I call him whenever I feel low and we talk for at least half an hour which in turn raises my spirits mood,” adds Raina.

Tips from her brother help Raina improve her game even today.

“He reads lot about tennis and keeps an eye on every one of my game and if he is able to attend the match, his constant cheering from the sidelines really helps in boosting my morale. From him I draw my energy to fight,” says Raina.

Message for youngsters

Parents support and ample of hard work are two important ingredients for youngsters to get success in professional tennis.“There is no way out to hard work. You need to be focussed and patient because success doesn’t come easy and you need to focus on your training completely,” said Raina who is supported by Sports Authority of Gujarat.

First Published: Jan 13, 2019 14:34 IST