QUEEN’S ROAD: Nikhil Niranjan, a promising young tennis player, is now ranked No. 1 in Karnataka and No. 5 in India in the Under-12 category, according to the AITA rankings released last week.
A student of Inventure Academy, Nikhil is a motivated 11-year old who loves tennis and dreams of becoming a professional player. He has a fiery passion for the game and seems determined to work hard to get into the higher echelons of the sport. He has already won three AITA national-level titles and has been a finalist in four more AITA tournaments.
Nikhil tries to balance academics and tennis so that he stays multi-dimensional. He has been training at the Zeeshan Ali Tennis Academy at Inventure under the supervision of Zeeshan himself, a former Davis Cupper and son of the illustrious coach Akhtar Ali. Zeeshan is now the coach of the Indian Davis Cup team as well.
Nikhil was elected Sports Captain of Inventure Academy (Primary) for the year 2013-2014 and has been playing competitive tennis for the past two years. He won the AITA Talent Series tourney at Hyderabad in December 2014 after winning the AITA Talent Series event in Bengaluru in December 2013, along with the U-10 event in Hyderabad in May 2013.
The youngster began 2015 on a very promising note when he emerged as the runner-up in the AITA Championship Series U-14 event in Kolkata in January, and was also the runner-up in the AITA Super Series U-12 doubles event.
Nikhil has won the Cottonian Shield U-12 (inter-school) tournament as also the TISB school event and was named the Most Valuable Player. He led Inventure U-12 and U-14 teams to victory at Headstart Friendship Games in January this year, apart from winning the TAISE, TISB tournaments as well. Nikhil has had several successes at the school-level and has been invincible in his age group.
In his spare time, he loves to read and listen to music and is also a good singer. But on the court, his racquet produces all the music.
Zeeshan has pinned a lot of hope on Nikhil. “Not just because he trains with me. This boy is very talented and with hard work and dedication, he is bound to go places,” he says.