If her victories this year are any indication, Apeksha Nayak is surely on the road to glory. This 15-year-old rising badminton aspirant is bound to go places, as her strike rate indicates.
The class IX student of VVS Sardar Patel High School, Rajajinagar, took to badminton at a very young age and her enthusiasm saw her parents, particularly her mother Asha, ensure that she got all the encouragement. Asha enrolled Apeksha in to Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy where she gradually, rose to display her talent under the tutelage of coaches - the legendary duo of Prakash Padukone and Vimal Kumar.
After reigning supreme in the under-13 section, Apeksha rose to become the No 1 player in the under-15 category, in the state. At the national level, Apeksha is ranked No 4.
Whenever there is an opportunity, her parents ensure that she does not miss it. And the likes of Saina Nehwal, Trupti Murgunde, Ashwini Ponnappa, and Jwala Gutta have inspired them no end. There is no reason why Apeksha will also not be spoken of in the same breath, in the years to come.
In 2013, Apeksha went on to claim the Sadashivnagar Club Girls Singles Under-15 title in January and then followed it up with a brilliant show at Davangere where she triumphed in the Li Ning 5-star tournament earlier this month.
Akepsha returned to the city and was in the fray in the 18th Suresh Kumar Memorial 3-star tournament at Canara Union courts. Apeksha carried her Davangere form into it and promptly won the under-15 girls doubles title partnering with Drithi Yatheesh (ECA) as they defeated Archana Pai (PPBA) and Reenu Tirumal (NGV) 21-18, 21-15 in the final.
In the under-15 girls singles event, Apeksha defeated her doubles partner Drithi in the semi-finals and set up a title clash with Archana Pai, her PPBA teammate. The two of them battled hard before Apeksha managed to win and record an impressive double.
Apeksha has a good attacking game and can move around swiftly on the court.
She is adept at net play and has a lot of control over her shots.
A little more improvement in her physical fitness levels will also ensure that she can cover the court better than what she is able to now.
Surely, Karnataka and Indian badminton has a rising star in Apeksha. And she is bound to more than live up to her name.