TENNIS Rashmika Rajan, an under 12 player, aims to represent India in the grand slams
Rashmika Rajan from Karnataka is one of the players who has made her mark in junior tennis in India. The 12-year-old already tops the chart in the under-12 and under-14 AITA ranking list and is ranked No.5 in the under-12 section and 41 in the under-14 category in the country. Having won a clutch of Talent series titles, she has now started playing in higher age group (for 16 and 18 years) and also picked up two under 12 titles in New Jersey last month. She is now training for the National under-12 championship later this week .
The daughter of two former internationals basketball players, Reginald Rajan and Nivedita, she chose tennis as the avenue to express her inborn talent, which has blossomed at the Kinesis Tennis Academy . The only player sponsored by Kinesis initially, she has shown that their faith is not misplaced with rapid strides over the past few years.
“We have a system that we follow meticulously,” said Kinesis head coach Keerthi Basavaraju. “The Kinesis training methodology was created by USPTR experts Capt. Pavan Murthy and Kinesis Director, Krishna Kumar. It lay strong emphasis on solid foundation for good basics. We use the Kinesis Tennis rating system which helps us to measure the player's progress on regular basis on a scale of 1 to 15 in multiple parameters.”
Keerthi would like Rashmika to play more championship series events and cement her place in the top rung of the junior rankings. “She has the game and strokes. I do not see why she cannot make it big at the senior level also, when she is ready for it,”
Krishna Kumar, her mentor, gives Rashmika six to seven years to match up to international standards. “She is just 12, and we want to put her on a steady path. In India, our players mature late in the game and that is an advantage, as they would have the mental maturity to grasp what we teach them and will evolve to be better tennis players. In our country, education is an added pressure on the youngsters. We do not want her to neglect her studies either as she is a good student.”
Krishna Kumar believes that the robust training system at his academy that includes a coach's certification programme, the Kinesis Tennis Rating system and their ISO 9001 rating have played a part in his wards rising fortunes.
The coach also stresses the need for strong parental support to young players. “Someone like Rashmika has that, as her parents are sportspersons and they are aware of her needs and make a positive influence in her career.”
Rashmika says “I want to be No.1 and play Grand Slams”.