Talented Rishabh touches new high

13-year-old Chandigarh tennis player bags gold in Under-12 during National School Games.

Once Rishabh Sharda is on the tennis court, he turns into a rampaging player, and settling for anything less than gold is a sin. This transformation on the court baffle his opponents and Rishabh, putting his body weight behind after shot, likes to finish off matches in style. His talent was on full display during the Under-14 tennis tournament in the National School Games at Balewadi, Pune where he catapulted Chandigarh to victory over Delhi in the final to give the city their first ever gold in Under-14 category. As the No 1 player from the Chandigarh side, Rishabh was at his effervescent best as he made short work of Mukul Goyal, 6-2, in the final to push the team closer towards gold. Digvijay Singh Pratap was the second playing member of the Chandigarh team.

"The weather was warmer than we thought. However, the conditions were to our liking and we played some good matches against superior opponents. The final match was the toughest as they had also entered the final after beating tough opponents. It feels nice to help your state win gold. The best thing was that we remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. I will really cherish it," exclaimed Rishabh, a student of Class VII at St John's School, Sector 26. Chandigarh defeated Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) before dislodging Haryana in the semis.

What made the victory even sweeter was that it was Rishabh's debut at the national games and he fared better by claiming gold. Coming off from a successful outing in the Under-12 age category where he raked up seven AITA titles, Rishab knew he needed a boost to make a dashing start in the Under-14 category.

"This was my first tournament in Under-14 age category and it has raised my confidence level. It has set the pace for me for the rest of the year," added Rishabh, 13.

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