Multi-national Malhotra

Born to a British father and Japanese mother, Anastasia traces her Indian roots

Her name is Anastasia Malhotra. She was born in Japan to a British father ó whose father was an Indian married to a Greek ó and Japanese mother, and they decided to keep the Indian surname.

To further the international muddle, the family moved to England just as Anastasia began picking up her tennis skills.

Her surname belies her Indian roots, but actually, this just happens to be the 19-year-old's first visit to the country her grandfather once called home. And the emotional connect appears to be instantaneous. "I love it here," she smiles, casting her eyes around the DLTA complex, where she lost in round one of the $50,000 ITF women's circuit tournament.

"I called up my parents today and told them I want to stay on here. I've heard it gets really hot in the summer, but right now Delhi is very nice," she says.

Early interest
The Malhotras returned to Japan sometime back, but not before developing her interest in the game even further.
"I started playing because my father used to play, and my parents have been very encouraging all the way. I was with the Lawn Tennis Association in England. In Japan, the situation isn't very encouraging for a tennis player. We have no national federation, and only recently a centralised coaching centre was established, but it's just for the top five Fed Cup players," says Anastasia.

Good and bad
Staying in England isn't without its bad points, though. "Life is definitely more sheltered in Japan, and there's none of the racism I have to deal with in England. I look different, so I've faced all that, but the tennis facilities, without a doubt, are much better over there."

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