Another jewel in the crown of Prajwal

Sports Star

Prajwal in action at the AITA talent series tennis tournament held in Mysore. Dh Photo by Prashanth H G

City based tennis player Prajwal Dev caught the attention of the home crowd by securing easy wins at the Skyway NTC AITA Talent Series Championships 2011 organised by Nagaraj Tennis Centre at Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) by emerging as champion of both under-16 singles and doubles.

Seeded number one at the tournament, Prajwal partnered Ramakrishna R of Tamil Nadu in the doubles to clinch the title by beating Rakshith M S and Vibhuvarsh T, who also belongs to the city.

A student of Marimallappa’s High School, Prajwal is pursuing his SSLC and practices at the Raghuveer Tennis Club, located near the foot of Chamundi Hill.

Prajwal mentioned that he is a big fan of Spaniard Rafael Nadal because of the latter’s movements on the court.

Probably taking a cue from his favourite player, Prajwal has worked hard on powerful ground strokes, which often send opponents into a tizzy.

The performance

In the present tournament, Prajwal routed unseeded Rehan Kumar of Tamil Nadu in the first round by 8-1. Prajwal’s dominance on court was displayed in the second round match against Arjun M.

He defeated  Arjun in straight sets. In the semi-finals, he beat his doubles partner Ramakrishna R in straight sets. Never letting his opponents take control of the match, Prajwal has won tournaments at regular intervals.

His mother Nirmala, a gynaecologist and father Devaraj, who is the deputy conservator of forests (wildlife division) are a constant support in his endeavour.

Speaking to City Herald, Prajwal’s mother Nirmala said he had good forehand and equally strong backhand in his arsenal of strokes. However, he still has to master the art of serving aces. She feels that he has to work on improving his fitness.

Exam stress

“Last year he was playing much better as he could focus on fitness. But this year as he is writing his 10th exam, he’s not working out that much. Earlier, he used to play under-14, under-16 and doubles matches on the same day. Nowadays, due to lack of fitness regime, he is unable to do that. Once, he completes his SSLC exams, he will get back to playing tennis,” she says confidently.

This tournament proved to be a good practise for the national series to be held in Khawwali next month, she added.

Support

Nirmala said she would support Prajwal continously if he wanted to pursue tennis in future.

To encourage his passion, his parents are planning to send him to Bangalore, where he would be enrolled into a full-time tennis training set-up.

Describing his aspirations, Prajwal dreams of representing the country in the Davis Cup and also making it into the grand slams.

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