Tennis - India's top-ranked women's singles player Ankita Raina says she is very happy with her year in 2019 and wants to break into the Top 100 next year. Raina reflected on her 2019 campaign which ended on a great note after she won the ITF $25K title in Solapur in singles & doubles.
"I think it has been a great year for me. I believe that playing at the qualifiers of all the Grand Slams had given me a big confidence boost. And last week was a great week for me as I had two ITF titles." Ranked No.
193 in the world currently, Raina scored some notable wins this year - especially those against former US Open champion Sam Stosur and former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki - which she says has given her tremendous confidence.
"They have been great players and Stosur is a Grand Slam winner. So, yes, beating them speaks really good about your game. I also had opportunities to play against top 100 players which also boosted my confidence."
On her goals for next year, Raina says she wants to break into the Top 100 and play in the main draw of a Grand Slam event. "I am definitely hoping to break into the top 100 next year. It won't be easy but I am looking forward to the challenge.
I am hoping to play in the main round of a Grand Slam. I am already looking forward to the Australian Open qualifiers." Raina's efforts have not gone unnoticed among her peers. The Indian tennis icon Leander Paes recently called her one of the fittest athletes in India, which Raina says is a big deal for her.
It's a very big thing for me. I am honored that someone of his stature had praised me. It gives me confidence that all the efforts that I and my trainers had put are showing results."