PARIS: For every young athlete there is always an idol whom he or she wants to emulate. For Sarah Dev it’s Maria Sharapova; partly because of that seering forehand down the line.
“I like to play aggressively and I feel that shot will fit perfectly in my game. But there’s still a long way to go before I perfect it,” says Sarah with a smile, enjoying her first international event.
On Friday though, her efforts fell short as she lost to Spain’s Maria Dolores Martinez Lopez 4-2, 5-3. The 13-year-old wasn’t disappointed though. “It’s my first tournament on red clay. The exposure was good,” she says, still smiling, not disappointed by the defeat.
Despite the loss, she received rave reviews from those in attendance. One of them was Jemi Barbarin, who has coached French players like Arnaud Clement, Michael Llodra and Gael Monfils and was the head of physios with the French tennis federation.
“One thing good about her game was even though she was losing, she didn’t stop playing aggressively. It’s easier to play a defensive style, like her opponent did. She has a good base to develop into a good player. And if she works hard, she will get there one day,” says Barbarin, who is instructing the players participating in the Longines Future Tennis Aces event.
The writer’s trip is sponsored by Longines