Hyderabad: State tennis player Shaikh Humera is clear in her thoughts. At the age of 17, she realises the importance of playing more ITF tourneys to get into the WTA rankings. Thereby, she is hoping to break into top 500 in the WTA rankings by the end of the year.
Starting the year on an impressive note when she won silver in doubles for the State in the recently-concluded Khelo India Youth Games along with Shrivalli Rashmikaa, the youngster hopes to build on the momentum.
“It was a great start to the year to win a silver medal for the State in doubles. However, I’m disappointed with our game in the final. The vociferous home crowd distracted our game. We could not play to our potential,” she revealed.
She also lamented the lack of support from the State government for the players. “Playing in Khelo India is a good experience. Representing the State is a different feeling. But there is no support from the State. Other States like Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi governments have been supporting their players.”
When asked about her target this year, she said, “I want to play more ITF tournaments in pro circuit. It will help me in the future. I don’t want to play in any of the AITA tournaments. With AITA not conducting many ITF tourneys, I need to play abroad. But unfortunately, we don’t have any sponsorship and that is a big hindrance for players like us to play in ITF tournaments. Also, we need to get more wild cards to play big tournaments,” she added.
Humera, who is currently ranked No.5 in under-18 category and nine in women’s category, had won her maiden national title in under-18 last year defeating compatriot Rashmikaa in New Delhi in October. She has the experience of playing five ITF tourneys so far. “The game is getting tougher every year in pro circuit. So I am focusing on developing my all round game. I am putting effort to improve my fitness and at the same time I’m also working on my serve and volley,” she revealed.
Humera has decided to give priority to singles. “I would like to concentrate in singles and therefore I’m not focusing on doubles. I had to play doubles in Khelo India because we are representing the State,” she asserted.