Enduring a stagnation on the professional circuit, India’s top woman singles player Ankita Raina says she can certainly break into the top-100 barrier but for that to happen she needs a travelling coach and physio.
She has remained in same rankings bracket in the last two years but the 24-year-old Ankita contends that she maybe ranked 259 in singles but there is not much difference between players below 300 and 200.
In 2017, ending runner-up at the USD 60,000 ITF event in Luan was her best performance. En route the final, she beat world number 139 Fangzhou Liu in the quarterfinals but lost the title-clash to world number 124 and top seed Lin Zhu.
“The level has really gone up. Players inside 300s are as good as inside 150. There is not much difference. The margin of defeat and win is very thin now. It’s one or two points that makes a huge difference in the final outcome. There are small things that need to be taken into consideration to graduate to the next level,” Ankita told PTI on the sidelines of the Tata Open Maharashtra.
Asked to elaborate, Ankita said there is marked difference in fitness level of players in the top 300, so usually long matches are played.
“After playing a long match, your body needs to recover fast to get ready for the next battle. Players who have good support in terms of coaches and physios, recover fast. Players like me who are alone, take more time to recover and hence struggle to be match ready after a gruelling contest,” she explained.
Ankita emphasised on the need to have a support system to be successful on the professional circuit.
“You have to manage everything on your own. The food, the stay, booking of practice courts, flights, visa and what not. If you have even one person with you, he or she can take care of at least arranging food and things like court bookings.
“It gives you that extra cushion. The burden is less. I am not complaining but you will find that players who are doing well are those who have either a physio or a coach travelling with them,” she said.
“As of now having a travelling coach is luxury for me. There are not enough funds. Whatever I am managing is thanks to support I get from Sports Authority of Gujarat but if I have to move to the next level, I need to have a physio or my coach Hemant Bendre travelling with me,” she added.happy wheels
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