Ankita Gunning for Asiad Gold.
TENNIS: Ankita Raina is all ready for Hangzhou.
Having tasted a singles medal in the last Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, the country's No. 1 woman tennis player, Ankita Raina is thirsting for good this time. "In Hangzhou, I will fight for the gold", said Ankita, when the India squad left the capital for China. " Last time in the semifinals, I played two close sets. But the opponent (Zhang Shuai of China) was more experienced. I feel it is a great opportunity in Hangzhou", said the 30-year-old Ankita. Even though she missed winning a mixed doubles medal in 2018 with Rohan Bopanna, Ankita was quite thrilled with her singles bronze.
"It was a memorable one, as it was my first medal in the Games. It was followed by dengue! It kind of made me understand how much it takes to get a medal in terms of the effort, physically, mentally and emotionally. It was a dream come true for me. All the hard work of my coach, team, and sacrifices of the family paid off", said Ankita. The mixed loss was indeed a jolt. " It was unexpected and disappointing. I was confident alongside Rohan, but that is sports. The goal definitely is to get as many medals this time, especially gold.
The experience from the the last two Asian Games should help me", added Ankita. It has been a lively season so far and Ankita has been competing well against top players and beating some of them. "I am grateful that I have been able to compete at this level, after last year when I was twice down with Covid-19 and had lost almost six months. It was tough to climb up all the way back. " I have had close matches recently with good players and also a couple of wins which has strengthened my belief. I have made a couple of changes and additions and have also worked a bit differently on my fitness which is showing on court", she said.
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