By Scroll | INDIA |
It all started with a father wanting to enroll his eight-year-old daughter in a tennis summer camp. Little did he know that this decision would give India one of its best female tennis players.
At 21, Karman Kaur Thandi is already one of India’s most successful female players, becoming just the sixth Indian woman to have cracked the top 200 of the WTA rankings. She has a career-high ranking of 196, with a career-high ITF Juniors ranking of 32 and she’s just getting started.
With a mammoth forehand and a gigantic serve, she has all the ingredients to become a top player. She made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open qualifiers earlier this year, where there was this rare exposure to speedometers. She was touching the 180 kmph mark on her serves quite comfortably, which is pretty close to what the WTA top guns clock. She also has raw power, which needs to be harnessed correctly. And luckily, she has a team around her to help her do it.
Her journey so far has not been short of hurdles though. Tennis is an expensive sport and to become a world beater, you need to have access to world class training, which not everyone can afford.
After Thandi started dominating the Under-14 and Under-16 levels in the country, playing internationally was naturally the next step. While her family was able to arrange for funds for one or two of her tours, to be able to do that for an entire calendar year was turning out to be impossible.
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