Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 3 (ANI): When the rain came lashing down on Sunday afternoon in Bengaluru and halted the Men’s Team Tennis final just as Lohithaksha Bathrinath (Anna University) and Oges Theyjo (SRM University) took the court, the chips were down for Anna University.
V Saran Anish (Anna University) had just conceded the first match of the tie to Krishna Teja Raja in straight sets, and SRM University all but had one hand on the Gold Medal at the Khelo India University Games 2021, needing to register just one more win to seal the deal.
However, rain delayed the Final and Lohithaksha and Oges had to wait the night out to take the court again and resume their contest at 1 – 1 in the first set. What unfolded next was an intense back and forth encounter, with Lohithaksha and Anna University edging the second Singles match 6-3 2-6 7-5 to take the tie into a decider – with the doubles court setting the stage for the final showdown.
“It gave me a chance for redemption. I was feeling guilty after losing my first singles match, and then I had butterflies in my stomach the entire time Lohith was playing. In fact, I could not even get any sleep last night because my mind was still on the Tie. Thankfully, Lohith managed to get the win and we got a chance to take the tie to the Doubles match,” said a relieved V Saran Anish after the final.
On the other hand, Lohithaksha – who went into the Final determined to brave the odds and bring home the Gold Medal for Anna University – exuded an air of authority after the contest.
“I am really happy to get the job done for my university. We really needed this win, and I want to dedicate this win to our college trainer Dinesh sir, who has really been helping us in our journey,” he said.
Lohithaksha, the son of a former men’s tennis player himself, also shed some light on the frequent challenges faced by young tennis players on their journey to reach the top of the game in the domestic and international circuit.
“Tennis is a very expensive sport to pursue, to be honest. Managing the cost of equipment, training and travelling can be very expensive. For players who don’t want to cut any corners, it easily takes up to 20 – 25 lakh rupees a year to pursue the sport. I am fortunate that I have had the support of my parents who have encouraged me to go after my dream. They have been my backbone throughout my journey, and the biggest chunk of credit goes to my Dad,” he said.
The 21-year-old is not content with his achievements just yet. The Chennai-based player spoke about his career ambitions.
“My dream is to represent India in the Davis Cup one day, and I also want to break into the Top 100 in the ATP Singles rankings,” he concluded.
While there is no telling what the future holds, young Lohithaksha and V Anish Saran have set the ball rolling with their success here at the Khelo India University Games 2021 in Bengaluru. (ANI)