Tennis

Sowjanya Bavisetti seeks more events at home

Looking ahead: Sowjanya Bavisetti is capable of achieving a lot more, according to husband and coach Suresh Krishna.  

Challenges bring out the best in champions. Sowjanya Bavisetti provided a good example as she won a double crown in the National tennis championship, against the odds.

Playing in China before the Fenesta National last week in Delhi, and following that up with an event in Lagos, Nigeria, it has been a hectic time for the 25-year-old left-hander from Hyderabad, who travels with her husband and coach Suresh Krishna.

It also gave Sowjanya the opportunity to look at her career and gauge her growth in a chat with The Hindu.

“I still can’t believe that I am the national champion. I always wanted this tag. I knew I was capable, but used to miss the chances for various reasons,” said Sowjanya, who had to grapple with a neck pain, which needed medical attention right through the tournament.

“Tuesday morning, I woke up with tremendous pain in my neck. Even after getting treated that morning, I wasn’t able to serve. All I wanted was to feel better, and be able to play. I got better with every match, with some help. I am proud of myself for not giving up in that first match. To win both titles is something that I had not imagined,” said Sowjanya, who won the doubles with Rishika Sunkara.

Comparatively easy

She made light of the ‘hectic’ situation, by pointing out that players were competing in 30 to 35 tournaments in a year, and she was not pushing herself hard, in comparison.

“I am financially supported by my family. So, I have to choose tournaments carefully. Some times, I have to cancel trips, when I don’t have enough funds. If players had financial support, I am sure we will have a lot of players at the top,” she said.

When asked about the fact that there are five $25,000 ITF women’s scheduled — in Gwalior, Bhopal, Solapur, Pune and Navi Mumbai — in November-December, after nothing for the first 10 months, Sowjanya threw more light on the scene.

“Earlier, we used to have a set of tournaments at home, every 1-2 months. We did not have to go out of the country. Even if we had to, it was just about five or six trips a year. Now, every time I want to play a tournament, I have to choose safe countries, calculate expenses, check if I can afford it, and on top of it, the visa procedures are not that easy,” she said.

Suresh was happy that Sowjanya was rewarded for her efforts. He observed that if she managed to stay healthy, she was capable of achieving a lot more.

“Sowjanya has the mental strength to compete at bigger stages. Unfortunately, it is coming down to her fitness, and injuries are causing inconsistency in her growth. Building strength programs and injury prevention is the current focus from our fitness trainer Harsha,” said Suresh, who travels with her as much as possible to provide inputs and build game plans.

Suresh felt that apart from having many international events at home for women, it would help a great deal to get the top players of the country train together with a good system.


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 12:19:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/sowjanya-bavisetti-seeks-more-events-at-home/article29674591.ece

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