"Sania Mirza inspired me to choose tennis" - A look at the Journey of Road to PTL winners
Maanav Jain and Yashaswini Panwar won Road to PTL tournament to earn the right to play in the upcoming Pro Tennis League.
A four-year-old kid who started playing tennis cause he was overweight, today stands as the winner of the Road to PTL tournament.
Narrating his journey to The Bridge, Maanav Jain (winner of Road to PTL Bangalore) said, "I started playing tennis at Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy in Bangalore when I was 4 years old. It's funny how I started tennis as I was a bit overweight as a kid and my mom always played tennis. When I turned 13, I joined Zeeshan Ali Tennis Academy where I played with a lot of higher-level players for 2 years. Joining PBI tennis academy eventually was a turning point for me. If I had to mention someone who inspires me, I will say it has been my parents," said Maanav.
"I am looking forward to playing alongside Yuki Bhambri and gaining as much knowledge as possible from these pro players. Matt Ebden is another player I am pretty excited to be around given his experience and history with the sport," chuckled 19- year-old Maanav when asked about what is he looking forward to in PTL.
The other winner Yashaswini Panwar took up tennis owing to her medical struggles during her childhood. "I started playing tennis when I was 11 and the reason to start the sport was that I was a sick child and I had a lot of medical issues when I was younger. I was told to play multiple sports and I tried to build my immunity, " Yashaswini Panwar told The Bridge.
Although she started tennis to build her immunity, watching Sania Mirza play gave her a new perspective and inspiration to play tennis. "I was still living in the US and I saw her in a WTA 250 event and I had an opportunity to have a conversation with her that's what got me interested in tennis in the first place. We had an amazing conversation and I will give credit to Sania for being my inspiration as she opened a whole new perspective to me for tennis," recalled 19-year-old Panwar.
Talking about the impact of PTL on youngsters, Panwar said, " I think it's a very good platform to showcase your skill and talents. You don't always get that in India, there is a lot of competition. But at this stage the number of receptions that the leagues are getting these days it's a pretty good opportunity for all the players involved and get like a jump start in their career and maybe move ahead. "
Maanav Jain and Yashaswini Panwar will feature in the upcoming Pro Tennis League from 1st December 2022 to 5th December 2022.