8-YR-OLD GIRL WINS TEN­NIS CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

City girl Omi Me­hta, all of eight, has made the city proud by win­ning the Pune open ten­nis cham­pi­onship 2015 held ear­lier this month.

Omi, a Vashi res­i­dent and a Class 3 stu­dent of Sadhu Vaswani In­ter­na­tional School in San­pada, won the girls’ sin­gles ti­tle in the eight and un­der cat­e­gory in the tour­na­ment held at Dec­can Gymkhana in Pune. She de­feated Pune girls Asmi Ad­kar and Jui Kale in the semi-fi­nals and fi­nal, re­spec­tively.

“Omi started play­ing ten­nis at the age of four-and-a-half. We soon re­alised her tal­ent in the sport and en­cour­aged her,” said her proud fa­ther Ajay Me­hta.

“When she was seven-and-ahalf years old, we en­cour­aged her to play in tour­na­ments with 10-year-olds. This helped im­prove her game,” said Ajay.

While Omi started her train­ing in an acad­emy, for the past 18 months she has been coached in­di­vid­u­ally by her fa­ther and a few coaches. She prac­tices in her school’s ten­nis courts.

“We know this is the be­gin­ning and she has a long way to go,” said Ajay.

“My mother-in-law and I en­sure Omi gets the right diet and is in a good mood al­ways,” said Omi’s dot­ing mother Jina.

Even as Omi’s grand­mother said she was proud of her grand­daugh­ter’s feat, Omi was quick to at­tribute her suc­cess to the fam­ily. “Their sup­port is the key to my suc­cess,” said Omi.

“I never give up even if my op­po­nent is ahead in terms of points. I keep try­ing till the last point and that has worked in my favour,” said Omi, who has won sev­eral awards over the years in school and out­side. “I want to win even big­ger tour­na­ments and cham­pi­onships.”

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