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5 of India's young, rising tennis talents

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7.99K   //    29 Jun 2016, 09:30 IST

After the immense success of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, the meteoric return of Sania Mirza and Paes, it is several Indian juniors who have announced their arrival on the tennis map. The youngsters have played – and had immense success – at several ITF tournaments and have been acknowledged by both the WTA and the ATP.

If current trends are anything to go by, it appears that Indian women’s tennis is on a major upswing.

We profile five of India’s rising young tennis talents:

Prarthana Thombare

Prarthana Thombare 2015
Thombare will be partnering Sania Mirza in Rio

Tennis has long been regarded as an elitist sport, with significant amounts of money required to back an athlete until they win enough to break even. That involves not only equipment but travel costs, training and camps, which are arguably the most significant epxenditure. Players are often sent abroad to for training across surfaces and under specific coaches, and these camps are often expensive.

From a village in Maharashtra, Thombare travelled 70km a day to train; after her initial successes, the family decided to move to Solapur and then eventually to Hyderabad, where Thombare enrolled at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy, run by Mirza’s father, tennis coach Imran Mirza.

A doubles specialist, the 22-year-old has been a regular fixture on the ITF circuit this year, partnering a series of international players. She has taken ITF doubles titles at Puebla and Montpellier, making the finals at an ITF event in Irapuato, Mexico.

Thombare will be seen partnering Sania Mirza at the women’s doubles in Rio this August, and Thombare has said she is confident of her chances there. It will be the first

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