Photo by Mandar Deshpande
B D Narayankar
DECCAN: Tushal Thawani is well nigh towards clinching yet another title if he really plays well tomorrow against Rohit Bisht in the semi-finals of the PYC ATF U-14 Series on Thursday.
An affable person that he is, Tushal can be as aggressive on the court when he is reeling off some forehand winners. And can also be a down-to-earth lad while appreciating the finer points of his rivals.
Being as humble as he could be, he told Maharashtra Herald he was enjoying every bit of the ATF Series held in Pune. “The ambience of my town has given me immense confidence and I feel relaxed on the court,” he said.
Asked whether Rohit could make any noise in the semis tommorrow? Tushal said: “I had a very good game against Sai Teja Palandugu. I made him make a few errors early on. If I play continue to play like what I have played today against Rohit, I believe I can make a mark in the finals.”
On coach Nandan Bal’s influence on him, Tushal said: ‘’He is probably the best coach I have with me. He wants to make sure I play attacking game ever time I go out to play. “Even more endearing is that he travels with us for important matches in any part of the world.”
On his take on aggressive tennis, Tushal said: “I think that’s how tennis is played today. I relish playing hard-hitting shots.”
“Hitting shots is not all about brawns, but timing and positioning. If your positioning is wrong, you will not get the sting in your shots,” he said.
And what do you do to get that positioning right? “I do two things. During tournaments, I practice a lot on the court along with my six-footer assistant coach who digs in the ball hard at you. That’s something special as I get to learn all about power play. When off-the-court, I do a lot of physical exercise to keep myself fit and strong,” Tushal said.
When chips are down what you do in a match situation? “I look at positive things. I believe that the opponent might not win the next game. This keeps me going. If I not hopeful, I may not succeed.”