"Better infrastructure needed for development of tennis players in India," says doubles ace Purav Raja
Purav Raja is an Indian tennis player, excelling in doubles. He turned professional in 2005. He's currently ranked at the 83rd position in the doubles category. He has bagged 2 ATP World Tour titles (Bogota Open in 2013 and Los Cabos Open in 2016).
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Purav talks about his tennis career and his plans for the future.
Here are the excerpts:
Q: What inspired you to choose tennis as your career?
A: I've been fascinated about tennis since my childhood. During my childhood, I wanted to get into an individual sport. At that point of time, I became fascinated with tennis racquets and balls which ultimately made me a professional tennis player.
Q: Half of the year has passed by. What are your plans for the rest of the season?
A: I'm currently in the United States of America. I'm looking forward to play the Los Cabos Open, followed by a Challenger tournament. It would also be great if I could participate in the US Open.
Q: What changes have you observed in the atmosphere of Indian tennis in recent years?
A: There has been a lot of changes in the Indian tennis circuit from the past few years. India has produced a lot more players in the circuit, who have been performing extraordinarily in the international level.
There a lot of Indians, who are getting into the Top 50s in both junior and senior level. There has been a change in the horizon of the circuit. The performances of these budding tennis players is a great asset for the Indian tennis.
Q: Which particular match/tournament would you like to call as the turning point of your career?
A: It was the 2013 Claro Open which was held in Bogota, Colombia. Me and Divij won the men's doubles title out there by defeating Janko Tipsarevic and Kevin Anderson. At this point of time, I realized my credibility in the tennis circuit.
Q: India have not been able to qualify for the quarters of the Davis Cup in recent years. How would you like to analyse this?
A: There is a lot of work needed in order to do well in the Davis Cup. There has to be advancements made in almost all the sectors. It all starts from the grass-root level. The players have to be provided with a much better infrastructure. The style of training also needs to be taken in consideration for the development of players.
Q: Do you see yourself as a medal prospect in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
A: It's too early to comment about this. But yeah, if I get picked up, then I can consider myself as a medal prospect in the doubles category.
Q: There are various tennis players who wish to perceive tennis as their career. What piece of advice would you like to give to them?
A: One should always keep working hard in order to reach their goals. Furthermore, one should focus on becoming an athlete, than a tennis player.