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EXCLUSIVE | Tournaments Like TPL Will Help Audience Connect Better With Tennis, Reckons Ankita Raina

By: Suramya Kaushik


Last Updated: December 07, 2022, 13:43 IST

New Delhi, India

Indian tennis star Ankita Raina to play for Gujarat Panthers in the fourth season of the Tennis Premier League in Pune

Indian ace tennis player Ankita Raina is all set to be in action in the Tennis Premier League (TPL), Season 4, slated to begin today (December 7) in Pune. In an exclusive conversation with News18, Raina said that she’s quite excited to be a part of TPL as the tournament will give an exposure to play with the teams and elite players from across the world.

“Leagues like TPL are definitely very important because it’s played as a team event, and I feel when you come together as a team, people and audiences can connect even better which is a bit difficult in individual sport. Tennis is an individual sport and unlike the other sports, we are doing all the things by ourselves. So, it’s a special thing to play as a team which gives a lot of boost to the sport,” said Raina.

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In past few years, tennis has evolved in India with more tournaments coming up the ranks and giving opportunities to the youngsters. With regards to TPL, Raina, said that it’s exciting to participate in such a league-based tournament as it pumps up the players and involve many audiences which encourages to put the best foot forward.


“It’s important for the sport. All the elite players are coming here and taking out time from their schedule. We all know that tennis is a sport where we need to travel, we need to compete for 25 to 30 weeks and it’s also kind of challenging and difficult to get adjusted in the schedule at the end of the years. But, TPL is going to be an exciting week with different atmosphere as here we will have the team, the team owner. Especially we will have the audiences. So, I think that pumps up a lot and the atmosphere is really great,” Raina said.

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The franchise-based leagues provide exposure to young players and Raina further believes that such leagues also help the players financially. Raina will be seen playing for the Gujarat Panthers in TPL and before the start of the tournament, she thanked the TPL founders – Kunal Thakur and Mrunal Jain for giving a big platform to all the tennis players in India. She said, “There are a lot of benefits of such leagues and it’s a great initiative by Kunal and Mrunal, to have this league and get everyone together.”

Raina recently featured in W25 Traralgon 18 A, wherein she competed in doubles with Indonesian player P Nugroho, but lost in the finals to Katherine Westbury and Destanee Aiava. In 2022, as a whole, Raina had a good run in doubles as compared to the singles. Reflecting on that, she said, “Six to eight months of the year weren’t good from both singles and doubles point of view because I broke into top 100 of doubles last year. But, I feel I’m in a much better position from Korea Open which was in September. The performance has been better and now I am back in rhythm. I have always competed more in singles and the doubles has helped me with that.”

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first published:December 07, 2022, 13:43 IST
last updated:December 07, 2022, 13:43 IST