Maria Sharapova in the Making - The New Indian Express

Maria Sharapova in the Making

Published: 11th April 2014 11:10 AM

Last Updated: 11th April 2014 11:10 AM

She is just seven years old, but plays with rackets and ball instead of dolls. She talks of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams while her friends talk about Barbie dolls and fairy tales. She is Pariishi H Shah, the youngest tennis player from Kozhikode who won the tennis champion of the state at the All-Kerala Mini Tennis Championship 2014 held in Thiruvananthapuram recently.

Belonging to the Gujarati community, Pariishi’s family has been residing in Kozhikode for the past 60 years now. Young Pariishi, who is taking a step into the limelight, does not show the slightest fear or shy away from strangers.

Ask her who her favourite tennis player is and instantly comes the reply: ‘Maria Sharapova’. She played tennis with her father for the first time at the tender age of three and since then there was no turning back from sports.

“She loves tennis and considering her zeal and zest in tennis we sent her for coaching at the Cosmopolitan Club”, says Himanshu Shah, her father who is a businessman in the city. Later, they came to realise that their decision to send their child for coaching was just the right thing.

About the talents of Pariishi, her mother Nisha Shah says that no vigorous training was given to her except for the regular training which she attends.

Emerging as the youngest champion in just a few years of training surprised and made everyone in the family as well as her school proud.

“There are students who have participated in various tournaments and they are all in fact older than her. But as she started playing we were actually amazed at how she handles her opponents and beats them in each round,” adds her mother.

“The training given by her coach (Kannan) proved to be very helpful and effective and that really made the difference in the tournament”, says her mother.

“He taught every technique of how to approach the opponent and understand the weakness of the opponent. And she actually did follow   her coach’s advice,” continues her excited mother. More than the latest gizmos, Pariishi speaks of her forehand and backhand in tennis with more confidence. “We never want to see her as a future Sania or Serena, instead we would like our daughter to mark her own identity in the sport”, says her proud father. “She will be leaving for Mysore this vacation for an exclusive training for 10 days under national tennis coach Nagaraj,” adds her father.

A game which is not so familiar among the people of Keralites is producing a promising young talent. “Not in my career of tennis coaching have I come across such a young talent

with perfect eye-hand coordination that is far beyond her age”, says Kannan, her coach.

“She is a talent worth nurturing and we will be training her for tournaments outside the state,” he adds.

Studying at The Horizon School in the city, Pariishi has not only proved her mettle in tennis, but she also has an incredible talent in singing, dancing and even in her academics.

She has also displayed her talent in acting in the recently-released short film ‘Endol ‘n’ Dolo’ directed by Shruthy Shikhamani by playing one of the lead roles in the movie, as the daughter of noted actor Joy Mathew.

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