Tennis

Coach Namita exudes confidence

Pleased as punch: Namita Bal, centre, is happy with Manas Dhamne’s and Shruti Ahlawat’s showing.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Coach Namita Bal was pleased that Indian juniors Manas Dhamne and Shruti Ahlawat finished No. 1 and 2 in the boys’ and girls’ sections, in qualifying from the Asia-Oceania play-off for the Les Petits under-14 tennis tournament to be staged in January in France.

In the recently tournament held in Bali, Manas clinched the boys’ title by winning seven matches, including three in the league phase. Shruti lost to Japanese Ena Koike in the girls’ final, after winning three of her earlier six matches in three sets.

Namita was confident that the players will be at their best in France. “Manas is smart and has terrific ball sense. He has a lot of maturity for his age, in the way he puts the point together and in finding a way to win. He was disciplined and focused through the week in Bali,” said Namita.

“He likes to hit the ball early. It will help him in France on medium-fast indoor hard courts. He will be better if he moves into the ball quicker. He can be better with strength work and strength endurance training,” she said.

Namita said that Shruti was easily the “most versatile” player in her age group in the country. “Shruti is able to do anything with the ball. That makes it easy for the coach to strategise against different opponents. She knows what to do when she stays calm.

“To do well in France, they need to work on the physical and mental aspects.”

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 7:16:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/coach-namita-exudes-confidence/article29975051.ece

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