N. Sai Kartik’s hard work has paid off. Since the time he picked up a tennis racket a few years ago at the NRI Tennis Academy here under the guidance of coach Gopi, he has concentrated on the game, listened to his coaches and now the 16-year-old has been selected to play for India in the Junior Davis Cup finals to be played in Mexico in September-October.
Kartik participated and won many age group tournaments, became No. 2 ranked player in under-14 in 2007, No. 2 in under-16 last year and is currently No. 5 in the under-16 category. He also won an international title, when he claimed the doubles event in the Colombo ITF tournament in October 2008 and this after losing to the top seed in the singles final.
Kartik is ranked 181st in the International Tennis Federation’s under-18 rankings. Concentrating on international events to improve his game as well as gain more ITF points has also helped him make it to the Junior Davis Cup squad.
A stint at the Chris Evert Tennis Academy in the US in 2006 has also helped Kartik a lot. He was declared the best improved player of the summer camp and earned the appreciation of Chris and her husband John.
Later he joined the Mahesh Bhupathi Academy, thanks to a scholarship from the GMR group, and is currently trained by Aditya Shrivastav, the coach of Yuki Bhambri. Kartik has also been to Sanchez Casal Academy for training on clay courts.
A natural player, Kartik has a strong backhand and with copybook shots covers the court well.
“My aim is to play as many international tournaments as possible and get into the top 50 of ITF under-18 rankings. Then play in the junior events of all the four Grand Slam tournaments,” said Kartik.