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-