16 year old Suhitha Maruri is a girl of a few words. She might be shy of speaking off the court, but she is not shy of competing fiercely on it. She’s the 2nd highest ranked Indian in the ITF Junior Rankings, sitting at 110, and is expected to feature in the Junior Grand Slams in the near future.
Suhitha speaks about how she got into Tennis, how she’s been improving her game, her goals for the future, and much more.
PS – Watch out for a fun rapid fire at the end of the interview
Q) When did you start playing Tennis and what got you into the game?
Initially my sister Reshmma Maruri started playing tennis at the age of 6 and I used to be around watching her training. After about two years, my mom joined me in the training.
Q) When did you decide that you want to pursue Tennis seriously?
I have been putting efforts from the beginning and over a period of time, based on performance looking at the results at AITA level, I started playing in ITF Juniors. Also got a chance to represent India in Uzbekistan and Qatar in ATF 14/U Tournaments. As such there was no decision made in between and my sister was already doing good and hence I am continuing it seriously.
Q) Your elder sister Reshma plays Tennis too. Do you guys practise together? What’s it like in the house?
Yes, we used to play tennis between whenever and where ever possible as the age gap was only two years and travel for tournaments together. As both of us are playing tennis, we do talk about tennis related matters such as areas to be improved, matches, schedules, strategies to be followed etc and my parents too involved as they spend most of their time with us.
Q) What has your experience of training at RBTA been like?
I am having a great time training at ‘RBTA – Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy’ in ‘TSS – The Sports School’ under the coach M Balachandran and his team. We feel extremely happy to be part RBTA at TSS.
I am part of the HP – High Performance tennis batch group where in morning session starts at 8:15 AM until 11:30 AM and evening session from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM. Both of the sessions have tennis (involving corrections, drills, rallies, matches), fitness and some theory sessions on psychology, motivation etc.
Q) How would you describe your game style? What are the things you are working on?
I feel I am skilled in playing all the strokes decently. However I need to improve my footwork, speed on court, accuracy of my strokes and first serve.
Q) You’re 16 now and are ranked around 100 in the ITF Junior Rankings. What is your plan for the next few months?
My coach Balu Sir suggested to train for few weeks, play $15Ks if I can get in and again train for few weeks before I can play some ITF Juniors outside India may be in Europe as well following coach inputs at that point of time.
Q) What is your relationship with Balu Sir like?
Balu Sir is very much experienced coach and also bit strict on the court during training. He identifies my mistakes during training and makes corrections then and there and through drills if required. He also instructs and shares plan to his team on the specifics of training and practice for next few days/weeks.
Coming to Tournaments, Balu sir and team decides what tournaments to be played. we do talk about the matches, how I played, whom I played, tips/strategies to be followed in the upcoming matches and most importantly he gives significant amount of time talking to us wherever he is. I feel blessed training under him.
Rohan sir also train along with us when he is back from the Tournaments and shares lot of tips on court and off court and he do provide his recommendation as necessary in all aspects appropriately.
|Favorite Grand Slam||Wimbledon|
|Favorite Tennis Personality||Roger Federer|
|Dream opponent||Naomi Osaka|
|Dream Indian Opponent||Ankita Raina|