A budding talent with promise

Sahaja steps into the professional tour after a brilliant season in the American Collegiate circuit

Published - May 20, 2021 09:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI



Sahaja Yamalapalli offers a little more promise for Indian women’s as she steps into the professional tour after a brilliant season in the American Collegiate circuit.

The 20-year-old Sahaja, who graduated from Sam Houston State University in Texas last week, with Food Science and Nutrition as the main subject, did not drop a set the whole season, winning 18 singles matches on the trot, at the No. 1 position.

Wonderful experience

“It has been a wonderful experience winning all those matches. It gives me confidence to transition into the pro tour. I never felt any pressure because, I always think that every day is a new day to play tennis and no records will help me win unless I am mentally and physically 100% present that day on the tennis court,” said Sahaja.

She was awarded ‘Tennis student-athlete of the year’ this season and in 2018 and 2019 as well, for topping both studies and sports.

Sahaja achieved so much as the No. 1 player in the team, despite being a “part time tutor” and stringing the racquets for the whole team, for four years. She has also worked as a tennis trainer in various camps organised in the US by different Foundations and companies.

First step

“I have already started training. I want to train for a month continuously. I will make a schedule of tournaments to play. The first step is to find tournaments that I can get in, and the second step is to find the sponsorship to travel there,” said Sahaja, the daughter of a teacher in Hyderabad, Bhavani Kumar.

“I am well prepared to start playing the pro tournaments with my present game level. I am looking forward to training at a professional academy, to compete better, if I get financial support,” she said.

If she is able to show similar spark on the pro tour, as she has done in the American Collegiate circuit, Sahaja is bound to be noticed and gain support.

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