Tennis - India's top-ranked player Ankita Raina says she will leave no stone unturned in a bid to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, in an interview to ESPN after she scored one of the biggest wins of her career over former US Open champion Samantha Stosur at Anning, China.
Raina said her win over Stosur made her believe that the hard work she has put in over the years will pay results. "I think the key here is that I've started believing more in the work put in by me and my team. I have faith in our practice and training.
Whatever my coach [Hemant Bendrey] asks me to do, I do it with the firm belief that this will improve my performance. When I played her [Stosur] in Dubai, my coach was there for the match since he was travelling with me. So, he already knew about her game and also had an idea about her recent matches.
When I was getting ready to return Stosur's serve, I knew somewhere inside that I've put in the effort and I was sure of making good returns." Raina says she believes she has to continue working hard and give her best, regardless of the result.
"There's no limit to patience because as much as you have it, it's really helpful because we compete day in and day out and the result is not something in your hand. Sometimes you play really good but lose, and other times you play awful but you still win, so in both situations, we just need to take the positives regardless of the result and move ahead.
I think that's the lesson I'll take from Anning." The Indian star was also thankful for the support that she gets from the Indian community living in various parts of the world. "Not only do Indians come to watch matches, but they also bring us Indian food or take us for dinner where they serve home-cooked Indian food, which is really helpful, especially when we are alone."
The 26-year-old Indian is currently ranked No. 173 in the world, just nine spots below her career-best ranking of No. 164 that she achieved in February 2019.