Rutuja sees Mumbai Open as key stepping stone
Mumbai, Nov 19 (PTI) India's budding tennis player, Rutuja Bhosale, is eyeing the L&T Mumbai Open WTA 125K series, commencing here tomorrow, as a key stepping stone in her career and wants to learn as much as she could from it.
Having secured a wild card into the main 32-strong main draw, the 604-ranked Rutuja has a tough task ahead as she prepares to take on her higher-ranked (274) opponent from Israel, qualifier Deniz Khazaniuk, in the first round at the CCI courts.
"It's a very good opportunity. For me, its a new stepping stone. I have come back from college (in the US) and just started competing professionally. I have been competing in 15Ks and 25Ks (ITF events) and to watch the top 200 players play and compete with them, is exciting and nerve-wracking," Rutuja told reporters ahead of her first round clash with her 23-year-old Israeli opponent who has won 17 ITF titles in singles and was ranked a career-high 247 in December last.
"I am going to learn so much from this (tournament). It will help me train harder. If I can compete with these girls right now, in the coming years I can hang around with them," said the 21-year-old player from Srirampur in Maharashtra.
Rutuja, who won two singles titles on the ITF tour events held at Aurangabad and HuaHin, trains under Hemant Bendre in Pune.
"I am going to take a lot of positives from here and not going to take pressure on me. I will take in as much things," quipped Rutuja who is nationally ranked fifth.
According to Rutuja, who graduated from A&M Texas University, it was her own decision to play college tennis, and now she finds herself returning a more attacking player.
"It was my decision to go there and there were situations which happened where I had to take a decision. There are times now when I think, what if I did not go to college tennis, where would be I right now. I was a passive player and did not go for my shots.
"I knew I had the game but did not trust my game. The college tennis level is high, I did not except that level. And now I see myself as a completely different player," she explained.
"I have come back as a positive person from college tennis," she signed off