HYDERABAD: It’s tough being a sportsperson in India, where players are in a constant struggle to earn laurels, due to one constraint or the other. Those who do manage to achieve global success are recognised by the government who confer the Arjuna or Khel Ratna award. But these awards have managed to garner criticism time and again.
This time round, tennis star Saketh Myneni has been picked for the Arjuna award along with 16 others. One senior tennis player who missed out again was current French Open mixed doubles winner Rohan Bopanna. The 37-year-old has lashed out at All India Tennis Association (AITA) officials for not putting his case forward.
But keeping the controversy aside, Saketh is pleased to be in the final list of awardees, and feels that the award will only inspire him to do better. “I’m very pleased and humbled to be in the final list of awardees. The award will propel me to achieve greater heights, and win more medals for the country. I’m thankful to Sania Mirza for nominating my name,” Saketh told Express from China, where he is playing an ATP Challenger event.
Once ranked 113 in singles, Saketh was out of action for nearly six months due to a shoulder injury, which saw his rankings slip to 458. Now the 29-year-old is eyeing a comeback and is looking to participate in many ATP events. What is noteworthy is that he is one of the few players who regularly feature in doubles and singles. “It took me some time to get back on court, but I’m fully fit now. I want to play in as many events as I can, in both singles and doubles.”