Reflecting on 2016, Looking ahead to 2017

Back in August of this year I had written that there would be challenges we would face, and face them we did. The first couple of months of ITL proved to be eventful, inspiring and challenging all at the same time. We faced some criticism, sensitive situations and a lot of awe inspiring ones.

Here are a few highlights of ITL in 2016!

ITL 2016 Player and Event Highlights

Rishitha Basireddy proved to be one of the most consistent entrants in ITL tournaments. She entered almost all of them, and won quite a few, the results speak for themselves. She ended as the Girls Under 8, and Under 10, No.1 for 2016! Congratulations Rishitha!

Saahil Vohra came on our junior tour to make a statement, and boy did he. Not only did he win all the tournaments he entered, he did it back to back. 3 times! That is an amazing accomplishment Saahil, we wish you the best of luck to keeping up your performance.

Starting the year as the Boys Under 16 No.1, where he was almost out in the semi-final down 0 – 3, to keeping the ranking at the year end Elite tournament. Noah Jaffari kept a challenge he made to himself. An inspiring feat indeed.

Siddanth Reddy won his maiden Under 14 title in November. Even though he faced some rough losses in earlier tournaments it did not stop him from trying over and over again. His win came after an epic tie-breaker in the finals against the year-ending No.1. But as rankings go, Siddanth, had to settle for No.2. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him as he enters the Under 16 events from 2017 on.

The biggest improvement can most certainly be awarded to Y. Akarsh Reddy. Even though he lost in the first round, of the first event he played in September, we only had to wait 2 months to see him end up as the Under 14 Finalist! Quite an accomplishment and an inspiring one for me personally.

Other notable mentions are:

  • Sahiti Dasika for her on-court tenacity and back to back Under 12 titles.
  • Pushti Laddha who has shown time and again what it means to be a winner.
  • Sanaa Latif has a game built on true grit, fighting for every point and she makes sure the opponent knows it.
  • Aneesh Sharma is a master at surprising his opponents, you never know when he will hit a winner and you won’t see it coming.
  • Bhoomik Aryan Samal has shown considerable improvement, from his first event to his most recent. Keep it going Bhoomik, I can almost see you standing with an ITL cup!
  • Syed Fazal Ali has an iron forehand with the speed of a train! Don’t get too close to the net because he’ll just hit one right by you.
  • Sai Brinda and Aditi Menon played a tie-break to remember for the Elite Girls Under 12 title. Aditi ultimatey won 12 – 10, with both players falling to the ground in exasperation. It was a moment to behold.

In our Men’s Tour:

Raj Rishi Keshari managed to sweep the year end No.1 Singles and Doubles ranking. This was quite a feat as he was 1 set down in the Elite finals opening set, yet he managed to come back to win it in 3 sets in an almost 2+ hour match! I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Raj in ITL and beyond.

Raj Rishi Keshari, Men’s No.1 with his accomplishments

Debaprakash Garu shows up with a mission, to play in the finals. He made sure he always accomplished that, keep going Deba. I’m sure you’re training hard to capture your No.1 ranking back again.

Surya Pawan showed us some powerful tennis, raising his level in the two back-to-back finals he played.

Other notable players who made some strides include:

  • Tarun Reddy
  • Akhil Kumar Reddy
  • Deepak Angadi
  • Visakh V. S

To top it all off, the year end No.1 ones were awarded with their trophies and gifts by none other than the top male tennis player to come from Hyderabad, Vishnu Vardhan!

Thank you so much for encouraging our juniors and giving them invaluable advice.

What Does 2017 Hold?

A lot.

We’re just getting started and hope to expand to more cities in India, conduct more sessions, events and meetups to help all our members network with each other and play tournaments at levels they only thought they could get abroad.

That opportunity is now available to you here and we hope you take full advantage of it. This league and its initiatives are built on the concept of helping you take yourself in the game as far as you think you can.

We welcome the expectations on us to perform better, and hope to exceed them in the coming year.

See you on the court

– Hyder Jaffari

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