Prerna plays regularly with her brother Prateek Bhambri who himself was a national junior champion but opted to help his father with his business
Prerna Bhambri hails from a family of tennis champions, and winning comes naturally to her.
The 20-year-old student of Jesus & Mary College, who has not given any room for complaint on the academic side as well, won the singles title in the $10,000-ITF women’s tennis tournament in Gulbarga over the weekend.
In a field in which she was not seeded, Prerna dropped only one set in beating a clutch of good players. She was particularly impressive at the business end of the tournament as she beat two Chinese players dropping only four games to each of them in the semi-finals and finals.
In fact, fourth-seeded Zi Yang -- whom Prerna outclassed in the final -- had dismissed the top-seeded Wing-Yau Venise Chan of Hong Kong in the semis without dropping a game!
“I played my best in the last two rounds. I had not seen my opponents of the last two rounds earlier, but had the confidence that I would win if I played my game,” said Prerna, as she got ready for another tournament in Bidar.
It was the second international singles title for Prerna who had notched up her maiden at home in Delhi last year at the DLTA Complex. In that tournament also, Prerna had dropped only one game in the whole tournament.
“The weather was like Delhi. It was raining and getting humid. The crowd of about 2,500 people supported me and that added strength to my game,” gushed Prerna.
The former student of Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram, who received an award for excellence in sports from the then President Pratibha Patil earlier this year at a function organised by her school, felt that Spurti Shivalingaiah played very well to take a set off her.
That well earned victory prepared her strongly for the quarter-finals against the second-seeded Emily Webley Smith of Britain, and Prerna was able to dictate the flow of the match before the Briton hobbled away midway through the second set, with a twisted ankle.
“If I start serving better, I can perform at the higher level,” said Prerna, who has been trained diligently by coach Aditya Sachdeva for the past seven years.
“He is one of the best coaches in India. I have also learnt a lot by watching Ankita and Sanaa in action over the years. I liked their style of play,” said Prerna.
Prerna plays regularly with her brother Prateek Bhambri who himself was a national junior champion but opted to help his father with his business. At one stage, coach Aditya Sachdeva had felt that some parts of Prateek’s was better than Yuki Bhambri.
Of course, Yuki has shot up very well to be the No.1 singles player for the country, and has been able to briskly get out of the shadows of his sisters Ankita and Sanaa, and continues to be an inspiration for the family, including cousin Prerna.
The third year student is focused on reaching the top 400 in the international rankings by the end of the season, and hopes to improve fast so as to follow the footprints of Sania Mirza into the Grand Slam circuit.
Having been part of the Indian team for the Fed Cup this year, Prerna has the desire to get better and be one of the best Indian women players ever.