The best women tennis players of the country, including the top three — Ankita Raina, Prarthana Thombare and Rishika Sunkara — are slogging it out at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy as part of the preparations for the Fed Cup to be held in Kazakhstan in February 2014.
With two-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza, also joining them, the young trio seem to be enjoying their training sessions.
“It has been a terrific experience for all of us to train together, and we hope to improve our game and our rankings,” said Rishika here on Thursday.
“It is important for all of us to know where we stand before the new year begins and we set our goals and chart our plan of action,” said India’s No.1 Ankita Raina.
With the AITA deciding to hire the services of well-known WTA Tour advisor and consultant Christian Filhol for the camp, the girls have learnt a few things about preparing for major events.
“They have a long way to go but they have the promise and they need to put in a lot of effort to break into the big league,” said the Frenchman, who has worked with Mary Pierce, Elena Dementieva, Justine Henin, Marion Bartoli and Cara Black.
“I did point out some minor corrections in some of their strokes, and they responded well,” he said. Sania said these are the kind of camps that the players need.
“It is a fine gesture on the part of AITA to have it as it facilitates all the hopefuls and contenders to be at one place and get a feel of different aspects of the game,” she said.
“It will be unfair for me to pick one player who impresses me the most. I look for commitment, sincerity and hard work which should take them to great heights. It is not enough if you have talent, you have to complement that with achievements, which are possible only through hours of training,” she said.