Aduri Sri Suresh Krishna and Sowjanya Bavisetti are a couple who are made for each other. It is a rare instance when both husband and wife have won National titles. If 30-year-old Krishna did it in 2011 by winning the National Grass Court crown in Kolkata, his wife, 25-year-old Sowjanya followed in his footsteps by clinching the Fenesta National title in New Delhi a few days ago. It is, perhaps, for the second time in Indian tennis history after Gaurav Natekar and Arati Ponnappa that this Hyderabad couple has achieved this feat as a couple. “When Sowjanya held the trophy, it was a double joy. It was a moment to cherish. It was one of the sweetest days,” says Krishna.
Tennis has been their passion. They began to play the game from a very young age. They were both coached by CV Nagraj although Sowjanya was under him for six months or so. But, they had a common goal while pursuing their dreams. It is to win the National title. Both have achieved this. “The National title is always a big thing for any sportsperson. For me, it was one of the biggest moments of my career. I was hoping that Sowjanya would add the title and she did it. I’m very happy that she could capture the title,” says Krishna.
Sowjanya owes her success to her husband. “It is always a good to have your husband as a coach, who is also a player. He understands the game and in Krishna’s case, he has a lot of patience. He never gets angry even though I make mistakes sometimes.”
This National championship was important for Sowjanya. She used to reach the semis but could not go beyond that in many of the big tournaments. Krishna says fitness was the key to her recent success. “She has a very good game. She is tall. She serves strongly. She has a variety of strokes and she hits the ball pretty powerfully. But somehow, she could not go the distance. It was because she did not have the extra energy to play consistently till the finals. Keeping in this mind, this we focused on fitness and it worked like a magic wand,” adds Krishna.
Sowjanya started working with fitness trainer Harsha. “I travel from Kompally to Jubilee Hills to do fitness training. It is a very exhaustive and tiring journey. But, it worked. I became pro-active on the court. In this National, even though I had a stiff neck from first round, I could see a big difference in my game. I could play the strokes more freely and, most importantly, I looked fit till the finals,” adds Sowjanya.
Krishna, who had to stop playing big-time tennis at 23 years, wants his wife to make a mark in international circuit for many reasons. “It is a very, very tough field. I had to stop playing big tournaments after my National title. It was because of lack of financial support. I went to Valencia in Spain, won a couple of tournaments and then realised I cannot pursue my dreams. So, I turned coach at a young age. I stopped playing and began my new career as a coach,” says Krishna who opened his first in academy in Tarnaka and then the second one in Kompally, which has six court clays and over 100 trainees. “Thanks to N Ramesh (athletics) and Nagraj, I’m able to take forward this challenging job,” he shares.
For Sowjanya, with Krishna being constant companion, she would like to break top 500 World ranking. “The road is tough. But if you see the top players of the world, they virtually grind with heavy load of fitness to break into the next level. Sania Mirza has shown the way in tennis and she is a perfect role model for all the young players to shine in international tennis.”
The next two years are important and Krishna and Sowjanya are on a mission. “It is possible and I hope can break into top 500 so that I can play in big tournaments,” says Sowanjya.
Being great fans of Novak Djokovic, they closely follow this great Serbian. “We like the way he takes up the challenges,” says Krishna.