Maria Sharapova’s Pretty Dresses Inspired India’s Shrivalli Bhamidipaty To Play Tennis

Feb 6, 2024

Entering the main draw of the WTA 125K Mumbai Open, Srivalli Bhamidipati, one of the most promising Indian women's tennis players, made a sensational start to the tournament by winning two very impressive games in the qualifying round. The 22-year-old from Hyderabad is keen to make a solid mark in the prestigious event, which is returning to Mumbai after a gap of six years and is being played at the prestigious Cricket Club of India. However, what inspired and excited the reigning Indian national champion in both singles and doubles was former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova, whose dressing caught her attention.

“I used to see pictures of Maria Sharapova and I loved her beautiful clothes. I also wanted to wear such beautiful clothes and that is why I started playing tennis at the age of 11 and got involved in this sport. What inspired me was the opportunity to be able to wear beautiful dresses. So, it was very serendipitous for me to get into sports,” she said.

Coming from a sporting family, where her mother was a basketball player and her father played cricket, Srivalli started taking tennis seriously within a few years of being introduced to the sport. “It was always a roller coaster ride for me. Honestly, I love the game of tennis and being outside because that way you don't have to stay at home and study,” he said.

In her first WTA tournament, Srivalli is taking one game at a time and making sure she makes the best of every opportunity she has on the court.

“I didn't have too many goals at the WTA L&T Mumbai Open because it's my first tournament, and I just wanted to go out there, play my tennis and have fun as well. I know whatever I play I will Everyone will be at a higher level than me. So, I just wanted to do my best and perform my best,” she added.

“I am thrilled to qualify for the main draw and I will play normally like any other match.

Srivalli will face second seed Nao Hibino in the first round.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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