Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

“Winning a tennis title was my childhood dream” – Nadaraja Nishangan


For Nadaraja Nishangan winning the Under- 18 Singles tournament of the recently conduced 99th Ju n i o r National Tennis Championsh­ip held at the Sri Lanka Tennis Associatio­n was remarkable in so many ways.

Primarily because it is the main event in the Junior category and as such being a title holder of this prestigiou­s category would add much weight into his tennis career. However, this ap a r t , t h e v i c t o r y, Nishangan says, marks a special landmark in his tennis career for the simple reason that it is his last Junior tournament and it is nice to have this victory under his belt, as he walks on to the seniors.

“Winning Under-18 was my child hood dream. And the fact that this is my last junior tournament, would make this victory memorable” says Nishangan, a student of St. Peter College Colombo, in an interview with the Education Times.

Competing in the Under- 18 Boys Singles category at this year’s Junior National Tennis Championsh­ip, following his 6/ 2 and 6/ 2 win over Avishka Perera he partnered with Shehan Fernando in the Under-18 Doubles to beat Avishka Fernando and Danushka Abeygunawa­rdena ( 7/ 6 and 6/3).

Hailing from Negombo, young Nishangan first started individual training at the age of nine but gradually moved into Colombo to get involved in tournament­s and follow daily practice sessions, he says. “Whenever I had a tournament, my parents had to bring me to Colombo. But later, as I had to follow more practice sessions, I moved into a b o a rding house in Colombo,” he recalled.

Attributin­g his success to his two coaches Dinith Pathiraja ( the main coach) and Bilal Joseph ( the fitness coach ) , Nishangan says the mentoring, guidance and advice he received from the duo through out his journey, was a blessing for him.

“Coach Mr. Pathiraja has helped me a lot in so many ways. From being present at every match, talking to me and prepar- ing me before every tournament, the encouragem­ent I receive from him can not be put to words,” he says.

Among the achievemen­ts in his sports career, this Tennis champ, young Nishangan had accomplish­ed great titles from being the Champion ITF Junior Davis Cup- Asia- Oceana Pre Qualified Event Malaysia ( 2012), representi­ng the Sri Lanka Davis Cup Team that had a tie between Sri Lanka Vs. Thailand Group, Winner of Boys U- 16 Singles at the 95th Colombo Championsh­ip ( 2010), Winner Boys U- 14 Singles Open Ranking Tennis Championsh­ipOtter Aquatic Club (2010), World Juniors Prequalify­ing Sri Lanka Championsh­ip ( 2010) among many other similar achievemen­ts.

In addition to that , Nishangan emerged the SSC U- 18 Champion this year. Ranked 400 in the ITF U- 18 cat e g o r y, Nishangan is representi­ng the Hambantota Sports Club.

Asked what the coming months have in store for him, Nishangan said, winding up the ITF tournament­s and Junior Nationals for this year, would make him shift his focus to the G. C . E Advanced Level examinatio­n that he is to face in the Commerce stream next year.

“Tennis is my passion, so I will do everything possible to climb up the ladder as a profession­al tennis player,” he adds.

Colombo University had the con-

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Men’s Champs - Moratuwa University
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Women’s Champs - Colombo University
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