Making mark at natl circuit

Vasisht Cheruku practising at the Nagaraj Tennis Centre, Mysore. Dh photo by Anurag Basavaraj

“ Nothing can be a substitute for hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind. It meant training and sweating out every day. But I was completely committed to working out to prove to myself that I still could do it,” were the words of legendary tennis player and former world number one Andre Agassi that could serve as an inspiration to a budding tennis player from the city, Vasisht Cheruku.

Having won the ‘Ramesh Desai Memorial Tournament’, a national title tournament held in Mumbai recently, Vasisht has made his presence felt in the Under-12 and Under-14 categories.

Speaking to City Herald, Vasisht’s coach and mentor R Nagaraj pointed out the lad had a powerful forehand that could help him reach the top of the national rankings to be announced by the All India Tennis Association (AITA).

Stellar performances

Ranked third in the country in the Under-12 category, Vasisht will be hoping to reach the top spot in the coming month, with his stellar performances during the past two months.
Vasisht has emerged champion in three singles and doubles titles each in the seven tournaments held during the last two months.

He also surged ahead  to two singles finals and one doubles final. Vasisht has won the Championship Series organised in May 2011 at Mumbai and also the Under-12 singles and doubles title at the Super Series organised by Harvest Tennis Club in Jassowal, Punjab.

However, his biggest success has been being runner-up at the Asian Ranking Tennis Tournament in the Under-14 category beating the likes of Escobar Moises of UAE, S Gokul of Tamil Nadu and Udayan Bhakker of Rajasthan.

Vasisht has won several doubles titles teaming up with Sumit Pal Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.

Strength

While Vasisht’s strength lies in playing on hard court, Nagaraj said that the upcoming tennis player has been working hard in improving his game in backhand.

Nagaraj mentioned that his serve has also been the focus of practice sessions at the Nagaraj Tennis Centre. Assistant coach Deepak Kumar said Vasisht has the ‘fighting spirit’ needed to win titles, he has emerged winner even after being a set down.

Vasisht said that he has the continuous support of his father Vinod Reddy and mother Asha.  However, he said, his major improvements in the game has been due to coach R Nagaraj and assistant coach Deepak Kumar.

Asked about his role model in tennis, Vasisht named 16 Grand Slam singles title winner Roger Federer as his favourite.

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