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Interview with Harshit Kaur Jawanda: "I have to work on my speed and volleys to reach top 100"

Exclusive interview with Harshit Kaur Jawanda after the World Junior Championships in Copenhagen.

Harshit Kaur Jawanda is making rapid strides on the squash circuit

Indian youngster Harshit Kaur Jawanda is the player to watch out for in the future. After incredible performances in the Indian Nationals, where she finished as the runner up to Joshana Chinappa, Harshit was a key player in India’s campaign at the recently held World Juniors in Copenhagen.

India did not finish the way they would have liked to, but there were plenty of positives that came out of the tournament.

We caught up with the talented Harshit via an email interview to know her thoughts of carrying Indian hopes on her young shoulders.

Excerpts:

Q: Indian junior women finished eighth at the WSF World Junior Team Championship. How would you rate the team performance? 

We certainly could have done a lot better by making it to the top 6. However,it was pure bad luck after I brought the match to a 1-1 beating Abbie Palmer. Akanksha Salunkhe had a lead of 2-0,10-7 match ball up, got injured and was unable to move on court. 

2. India unfortunately lost the tie against New Zealand but you had a great five-game win over Abbie Palmer. Talk us through that win.

Abbie is definitely a very good player. She likes to block and hit, so I was focused to keep the ball as tight as possible. Abbie was a bit slow in the first two games but during the third game she changed the pace and became a lot faster. So I wasn’t prepared for that. After she took it to a 2-2,I kept my cool and took the fifth game 11-5.

3. You made it to the final of the National Championships where you gave a tough fight to Joshna Chinappa in the second game. Tell us about your experience of playing the final. What did you learn from it?

Joshana Chinappa is definitely someone I look up to. I was really happy to have been given the opportunity to play her in the finals and I hope I can perform better the next time I play her. 

4. How did you get introduced to squash?

My dad played squash for leisure and I accompanied him to the club every weekend. After he finished playing,I went on court with a marker to hit the ball with him. Soon,I realised that this is what I want to do in life and I have the potential to get there.

5. What are the strengths of your game? What are the weapons that you need to build on to make a place within the top 100?

I have good variety in my shots and I like hitting hard. However,I have to work a lot on my speed and volleys to make a place within the top 100.

6. Does being one of the country’s most promising junior players put added pressure on you? 

It definitely does as people around you raise their expectations every time you win.

7. Can you name some of your idols who you look up to for inspiration?

Justin Drew Bieber is my only idol. Someone I relate to and definitely someone I would like to become like.

8. How difficult has it been managing studies and life on the tour? What are your other interests apart from squash? 

It has been very difficult especially in the last year of my high school where I could hardly play squash during my board exams which lasted for four months. But now I am pretty used to it. 

I play the guitar,Love to sing,sketch,watch chick flicks and do adventure sports.

9. What are your next goals?

My next goals are making it in the top two in the Asian junior squash championship and performing well in Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa,New Zealand.

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