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Young Tennis Sensation Karman Kaur Aiming Big

Karman Kaur Thandi.

Karman Kaur Thandi.

Karman Kaur Thandi – the name might not be familiar to even the biggest of Indian tennis aficionados, but the 18-year-old is making waves in the tennis circuit, and might well be the next big thing in Indian tennis. She already has three ITF titles, and a couple of Fed Cup appearances for India under her belt.

New Delhi: Karman Kaur Thandi – the name might not be familiar to even the biggest of Indian tennis aficionados, but the 18-year-old is making waves in the tennis circuit, and might well be the next big thing in Indian tennis. She already has three ITF titles, and a couple of Fed Cup appearances for India under her belt.

A fan of Maria Sharapova, Kaur is known to have a big serve and a strong forehand. Her passion for tennis resonates as she speaks exclusively to News18 Sports.

“I come from a middle-class family but I started playing tennis when I was 8-years-old. First it was the national tournaments, then ITF juniors and now here I am playing woman’s singles,” she says, while talking about her journey in the game so far.

Kaur also managed to catch 12-time Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi’s attention, who helped enroll her into Patrice Mouratoglou’s academy in France. Mouratoglou has been the coach of former World No.1 Serena Williams.


Kaur is currently under the watchful eyes of Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh, who has also coached World No.1 Angelique Kerber. Talking about her training, Kaur says: “It is one of the best academies in the world. They make us feel so comfortable, and look after us so well. They motivate us to improve every day. Even if I am away, I can message the coaches and talk to them any time I want.”

One thing often seen with Indian tennis is that players often find it difficult to bridge the gap from juniors to professionals, and Kaur feels there is only one reason behind it.

“Juniors are all U-18s, and the level of playing field increases vastly once you turn professional. There are no easy matches when you are a professional. You are tested in each and every game you play,” she said.

Kaur is clear about her goal for the coming year, and she says confidently that her aim is to break into the top 250.

“I want to be in the top 250 by the end of the year, and hopefully start playing qualifying tournaments for the grand slams from next year. You need to be in the top 230 to play qualifiers,” she reveals.

Tennis is amongst the most expensive sports in the world, and especially in India, where you don’t have top notch facilities, most players tend to go out to train. Hence, sponsorship often plays an important role and Kaur recognises that.

“It was hard in the beginning, at junior level you don’t get sponsors and players need sponsors to play at the top well. I am thankful to ASICS, which is supporting me and has given me a lot of confidence. It feels good to know that you have the backing of everyone when you’re going out on court,” she said.