In an exclusive interview with Zee News, we had the privilege of chatting with Ankita Raina, the Indian tennis sensation. At the first-ever official Wimbledon screening in India, we discussed Ankita’s remarkable journey, notable achievements, and the challenges she faces as a representative of her country. With a stellar career that includes a WTA Tour title and numerous victories on the ITF Circuit, Raina has become a symbol of Indian excellence in the sport of tennis.
Who Is Ankita Raina?
Ankita Ravinderkrishan Raina has consistently held the position of India’s number one in both singles and doubles. With an impressive repertoire of achievements, including a WTA-level doubles title and gold medals at the South Asian Games, Raina has solidified her status as one of India’s top tennis stars.
Raina shared her excitement about her career highlights and notable wins, stating, “It has always been a dream to play for the country since childhood. Every time I am playing with India written on my T-shirt, it is a completely different feeling. ” She mentioned her outstanding performance in the Fed Cup, particularly her victory over Yulia Putintseva, a top 30 player, in 2018. Raina’s triumphs at the South Asian Games and the Asian Games, where she won gold and bronze medals respectively, further solidified her place. among India’s tennis elite.
Raina emphasized the unique pressure that comes with representing India in international competitions, stating, “It’s not just about me; I carry the whole team when I play in these tournaments.” She also discussed the challenges of managing support staff and financial constraints faced by tennis players, saying, “In tennis, the travel schedule is demanding, and it becomes challenging to have a dedicated support staff for each tournament. complete difference.”
The Inspiration of Sania Mirza
Reflecting on her fellow tennis player Sania Mirza, Raina expressed her admiration, saying, “Sania Mirza has been a legend. She has won grand slams and achieved so many things that inspired all of us.” She further added, “Being India’s lone representative at the grand slams and big stages makes you feel proud, but you also have a responsibility to live up to the expectations of the nation.”
The Future of Indian Tennis
Raina expressed optimism for the future of Indian tennis, praising the emerging talents within the country. She acknowledged the challenges faced by players, such as the need for improved infrastructure and resources, but stressed the importance of nurturing young talents and providing them with opportunities to excel.