27 April 2017 | Last updated 05:51 PM

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Siddhant eyes Grand Slam events
Jigar Hindocha | Friday, 21 April 2017 AT 10:11 PM IST
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Pune: To begin life in a family that had no sporting background was probably Siddhant Banthia’s asset. When he began playing tennis just for the sake of fitness nothing much was expected of him, and when he began winning titles it was all bonus and Siddhant received all-round support from his family.

Siddhant, who early this week won the Indian leg of ‘Rendez-Vous a Roland -Garros’ held at Delhi Lawn Tennis Association courts, was elated with his performance. With this win, Siddhant got entry to the Paris leg, where he will play against winners from other countries. Victory in the Paris will give Siddhant a wildcard entry to the main draw of French Open junior tournament.

“I am happy with the way the tournament progressed, it was a great week and I played solid tennis throughout. I played three matches and won seven games overall and did not lose a single set,” Siddhant told Sakal Times in an interview.

Siddhant, ranked No 55, could have got direct entry to the French Open Junior qualifiers but his rank slipped to 76 as he missed a few tournaments due to studies and examinations.

“First I was not sure of playing this tournament but as my ranking dropped, I decided to go for it and I was eager to participate in the French Open Juniors,” said Siddhant, who had qualified for Australian Open junior early this year. Siddhant had never thought he would be playing tennis at this level and he used to play a lot of cricket in his childhood.

“My father used to play tennis in our society, I just followed him, as it would help me to stay fit but soon I took interest in the game and never looked back.”

“I played the first Under-12 AITA circuit tournament in 2011 and came out as a winner, then it all began. I kept on playing tournaments at national level and international level,” added Siddhant, who had won 75 matches on the trot in 2014.

“The year 2014 was great for me. It was just the beginning and I surprised all opponents during that phase and made it a great start. In 2015, the first six months were good but after that people began understanding my game and my rough patch started. It continued till mid-2016. After that I came out with a bang and won 5 ITF titles and also qualified for Australian Open Juniors.

“In 2017 I would like to participate in all Grand Slams,” said Siddhant, who will travel to Morocco to play ITF Grade 1 and Grade 3 tournaments and then will take part in European circuit tennis before leaving for Paris.

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