Ankur Raina was the first source of inspiration for a tiny toddler in Ankita Raina, from whom she learnt and decided to pick up the racquet, and what followed needs no mention. He spoke to team Indian Tennis Daily and threw some light upon Ankita’s journey, including a sibling’s perspective.

These are series of articles going in-depth into the journey of Ankita Raina, the Indian no.1 in singles and doubles on the WTA Rankings. Find out more from the previous articles here.
1. “She is waiting for her opportunity. And it will come – sooner or later” – Lalita Raina ji, sharing a mother’s perspective, on the tennis journey of Ankita Raina
2. “Face challenges. Do not get bogged down. Do not look back. March ahead despite all the difficulties.” advises Ravinder Krishan Raina ji, father of the Indian no. 1 at WTA Rankings, Ankita Raina.

The articles will also be available for read on http://www.scroll.in – a popular Indian news website.

As siblings, how is your relationship? Do you fight like typical siblings do? How much is your age difference?

The age difference is 4 years. Yes, our relationship, like most other siblings too, is a strong bond with its share of arguments, quarrels, agreements, disagreements. We tend to differ very frequently on multiple subjects; however it is a healthy discussion. Fortunately, we both patiently listen to each other and get along very well.

Ankita Raina with her brother and inspiration, Ankur Raina.

With your sister traveling so much for training, how do you continue to keep in touch, and how often?

I was travelling myself since the past few months owing to my professional commitments. Both of us just pick up the phone and dial each other whenever we want/feel to talk. No pre-decided time as such.

While in tournaments, I do tend to especially talk/message her when she is done with the tournament rather than talking during the matches.

How do you feel about your sister achieving so much for herself and for our country?

I am very proud of her journey so far. The fact that we come from a very regular and humble background, with no one even in our distant circle associated to sports, her story is an inspiration for many, proving that extreme hard word, thorough professionalism and discipline can take you to places, no matter from where you have come. I hope and wish that she becomes a better player with every passing match and brings our country the joy of winning a Grand Slam.

When did you first realise that she was a special talent and that she can make it big?

Her results from the very beginning were extra-ordinary. While competing in the Under-8 age group, she used to be the winner in Under-12 as well. This has been the case till she graduated to the women’s category. All of us were aware of her passion since the beginning, when she used to play in the Junior categories. At the same time, like I mentioned earlier, as she grew older, she coupled the passion with extreme levels of hard work.

The young Raina siblings.

What are you personally interested in? Do you play Tennis or any other sport?

I love travelling and exploring nature’s beauty. I played competitive tennis till I appeared for my boards. Post that I have not played any sport. I do regular exercises and enjoy appreciating delicious food. (I am having a heavy laugh while mentioning the last line).

Anything you want to add from a brother’s perspective?

Not particularly from a brother, but more from a sibling’s perspective. The sibling needs to be supportive and especially be a friend to the player because parents are very attached with the result of every match and it might not always be as expected. However, having a sibling by your side during such times, makes the player feel light and good.

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