Thursday, March 15, 2012

Serving in style: Pranjala Yadlapalli

Yadlapalli Pranjala is on her way to becoming the ‘next big thing'

Far from the madding crowds, Yadlapalli Pranjala has been meticulously scripting her own path to probable stardom — by the sheer weight of her performances.

This 13-year-old bright young talent from Hyderabad seeded No-3, representing India in the ITF championship in Philippines, has demonstrated her improving standards at the higher levels by entering the semi-finals in both singles and doubles events.

Pranjala earned the right to represent the country by virtue of her ranking as India Number 1 in the under-14 category. It has been a remarkable story of success given the fact that Pranjala first strayed on to a tennis court as her father insisted that she should play some sport to keep herself fit.

This VIII-standard student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya is also number 6 in India in the under-16 category. This is not as easy as reading it might sound given the effort and sacrifices Pranjala and her family had to put up with.

Pranjala's passion for the sport grew as she started winning the age group titles. Just at a time when India's biggest name in women's tennis – Sania Mirza – was making waves on the international stage. But importantly, this gifted player is keen to script her own chapter even while looking at Sania, whom she has never met, as a huge source of inspiration. What delights her coach and the parents is the fact that Pranjala never complains of getting tired. She seems to enjoy extended sessions too with same ease. The most recent achievements – the double in the national under-14 and the under-12 categories and the Asian under-14 singles title in Hyderabad are just the indication that Pranjala has embarked on the perfect route to realise her dream of playing in a Grand Slam one day. For the record, she won 14 titles at the national level in different age groups in the last one year.
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