Coming from a small town of Barshi, Maharastra to partnering her Idol Sania Mirza in the women’s doubles tennis on the biggest tournament of her life -Rio Olympics, Prarthana Thambore’s life has been nothing short of an Inspiring story. Tennis as a sport is considered to be an elite game but Prarthana’s entry has broken all the stereotypes. She is making her debut at the Olympics and is not leaving any stone unturn to grab a medal the Quadrennial event.
“Tennis was a different sport than what I had learned…” is what the 22 year old shy girl has to say when she first held the tennis racket at her village. There was no TV, not many people who knew the actual Tennis Rules. But that did not deter her determination and now she is all set to play for her country in a very coveted tournament. She is training hard to fine tune her volley and getting that finish on her forehand.
Prarthana is extremely talented player.. The Past results justify my statement. She was just 10 years old when she won the U-14 nationals. Prarthana was defeating a lot of senior girls at such a tender age. She has won 3 singles and 17 doubles title on ITF tour in her career so far out of which 11 titles (singles & doubles) came in the last itself. Not only that, she has 12-4 record when playing at Fed Cup for India. She has also represented India in the U-16 and U-18 and U-21 categories, showcasing her talent and rising as one of the brightest future star of our country. In 2008, Prarthana reached the peak of her junior career by being selected as the top player in Asia. A master’s event which pitted the best juniors against each other saw her lift the individual singles title, helping her reach continental stardom. She also reached at world number 208 in the doubles rankings, her best so far. Prarthana’s father saw potential in her daughter and shifted base to Pune to pursue her rising tennis career. She then changed her base to Hyderabad. The interesting thing is that Prarthana is being coached by her Idol, Sania Mirza’s father Imran Mirza. Imran Mirza has played a big role in rekindling Thambore’s tennis prospects.
Her biggest achievement so far has been a bronze medal win at the 2014 Aisan Games women’s doubles. The win came with her partner Sania herself. I guess, that was the reason Sania picked her for the women’s doubles at Rio. They both share a cordial relationship both on and off court.
A lot will relay on Sania when the two will step onto the tennis court in some days time. The world Number one will have to take the charge but Prarthana sure will complement Mirza with her run and accuracy on court.
The Indian combo no doubt will face tough challenges from the likes of Williams Sisters, Italian pair of Sara Errani and Roberto Vinci and French duo of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic ( the French open doubles champions )but they are ready to create some upsets. All in all, let’s hope the magic is created when these two step onto the court…