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“I don’t want car, I want support to play’ - India's No. 1 tennis player requests Anand Mahindra

“I don’t want car, I want support to play’ - Indias No. 1 tennis player requests Anand Mahindra

Md Imtiaz

Published: 25 Jan 2021 4:26 AM GMT

The recently concluded India-Australia test series down under is every bit historic and will certainly go down in history as one of the most remarkable game-plays ever in the sport. It's also been a proud moment for India as the players managed to showcase exceptional talent to beat the Aussies at their home turf. Celebrating the same, Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group has announced that he will gift the Mahindra Thar SUV to six young members of the Indian squad.

In the meanwhile, India's number 1 tennis player in U-14 division, Chandni Srinivasan, has made a humble request to the Mahindra Group Chairman. No, she has not demanded cars. In a Twitter post, she tagged Mr. Mahindra and asked him to support her in her playing career so that one day she can make her country proud. Tennis afterall is an expensive sport and requires a financial backing to play the sport.

Hailing from Hyderabad, Chandni became the, became the No.1 ranked player in the country in the U-14 category in March last year following the publcation of AITA rankings. Starting off the game at the age of seven, Chandni has been a keen student of the game and a quick learner.

In the U-12 nationals in 2018, Chandni lost the final but her strong show was recognised and rewarded. She was selected as part of the Indian team to play in the Asian U-12 Championship in Kazakhstan. The tournament provided a great learning lesson for the youngster. She realised that her Asian counterparts were faster and fitter. Therefore, she started working on these aspects so as to improve her fitness levels.

Chandni continued with her winning ways and the AITA sent her for a training stint in Thailand. It did a world of good for the youngster who then started reeling off victories.

In the later part of 2019, Chandni focused more on tournaments and she has won 6 Super Series U-14 titles. This helped her reach the Top 3 rank in the country.

In 2020, Chandni showed no let-up in her intensity and hunger for titles. She bagged the U-14 Super Series title at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy in January last year, and followed it up with another one at the South Club in Kolkata.

Mahindra made the announcement in a series of tweets and complimented the team for their sheer hardwork and resolve. The young players that will receive the Thar SUV include Mohammad Siraj, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Shubman Gill and Navdeep Saini. The tour of Australia saw the Indian team bag a 2-1 test victory. "The reason for this gift is to exhort young people to believe in themselves & Take the road less traveled," said Anand Mahindra.

Many athletes in India feel deprived of pursuing other sports because of the over-popularity of cricket. However, Chandni doesn't think so. She doesn't feel bad when someone else gets something. She just wants an equal support from Anand Mahindra so that she gets a chance to shine for her country like Natarajan, Siraj or Shubhman. It remains a question whether Mr Mahindra would notice her tweet and write down his response.

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