MSSA tennis: Arnav Parikh surprises himself after entering pre-quarters
Unseeded Arnav Parikh stunned 11th seed Agastya Debnath of Bombay Scottish (Mahim) 6-1 in a boys' U-16 Round 3 match of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school lawn tennis tournament at the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) courts yesterday.
Only two years ago, Dhirubhai Ambani International’s Arnav had stopped participating in tennis tournaments as he did not want to continue with the sport. “I used to represent my school in tennis earlier. But I got bored of playing tennis and hence started learning squash.
This year, I decided to play tennis for fun. I was expecting a first round exit from the tournament but I’m glad to have reached the pre-quarters,” said the 15-year-old.
Explaining the difference between playing then and now Arnav said: “When I was playing tennis two years ago, I was under immense pressure to perform. My friends would always win medals and I wondered where I was lacking. I used to reach the knock-out stage, but never win medals.
“Now, I play tennis for fun and I’m loving it. There is no pressure to perform. Maybe, that’s the reason I’m playing so freely,” said the Class IX student.
Meanwhile, in the boy’s U-14 category, sixth seed Saurav Banka of Cathedral and John Connon (Fort) registered a comfortable 6-1 win over Kabir Ahuja of Mount Carmel (Bandra). This is first year Saurav is competing in the U-14 category and he hopes to win a medal in the tournament.
“I have won bronze medals in the MSSA U-10 and U-12 categories. This is the first year I am playing in the U-14. I hope that I am able to play well,” said Saurav, who trains under Kedar Tembe at the Priyadarshini Park in Napean Sea Road.