Tennis player

We are talking about none other than Indias best tennis player N Sriram Balaji, the first man from the Indian Army to qualify for ‘Wimbledon’.

      A tennis player N Sriram Balaji with his partner Vishnu Vardhan has made his first maiden Grand Slam appearance at the age of 26 years. 

     “If you do anything with dedication, perseverance and hard-work, you can achieve your goals.” Says N Sriram Balaji

      Hope that this journey of N Sriram balaji , will inspire millions of young minds right out there dreaming to represent India at various international sports events and take Indian Sports to an another level.

 He shared with AlphaIndians some of the insights about his life and his journey to the Wimbledon.       

Tell us something about yourself and your story of struggles?

 *I hail from a middle class family of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Dad is a retired assistant commissioner of customs and my mom is a home maker. From a very young age my interest got inclined towards sports. Let it be any sport, playing them was a part of my daily routine. I was 9 years old when I started to play tennis. I started my tennis career at PERKS Tennis Academy, Coimbatore.[Talking about Struggles] Tennis is such a sport which requires a lot of physical strength. Mentally too one has to be very strong and then comes the financial support that you need. Sports require continuous efforts no matter what obstacles pave your way. It is something that goes beyond just to play, beyond just games. Not to forget injuries are part and parcel of any sportsman. I wouldn’t call any of these as struggles, but these were all a part of my journey.

If you can throw some light on the challenges that you faced and what kept you motivated towards your vision?

The best thing that I like about tennis is those challenges [said proudly with a smile] and I have faced them in every part of my life. Coming from Coimbatore where I didn’t have anyone to practice with was the first challenge that I had to face, as all my fellow mates have moved to Chennai and Bangalore. Transition phase from playing juniors to getting into the men’s circuit, where I lost matches continuously for months was not easy. I still remember when I was playing tournaments abroad and didn’t have money to book my ticket back. At that time, my friends were there to help me. Yeah![Sighs] I can keep talking about the challenges but the passion for sport is what kept me going all the way by them. And it is your passion and dedication that helps you going at all those highs and lows we experience.   

Your strength and weakness as a person? 

I’m a very positive person. I like to be surrounded by happiness. I’ll do whatever it takes to make my family and friends happy. If I get involved in anything, I’ll give my heart out. Weakness you could say is that I easily trust anyone. Sometimes it gets me in trouble. {HAHA..

  What’s your take on celebrating FAILURES and how did you react when you faced FAILURE? 

As the saying goes failures are the stepping stone for success and I strongly believe in it. When things are going smooth you don’t realize a lot of things, be it about life or tennis. And once you fail, you take time to think about what went wrong and what you have to do to overcome that.  

Who is your role model and how did that person influence you and your dreams in life? 

Layton Hewitt and Roger Federer are my role models in Tennis. They both are poles apart compared to their games. I try to take the best from both of them – be it the fighting spirit from Hewitt or the way Roger makes tennis looks so easy, which I believe no tennis player can ever do. The person who influenced me in my life is my dad. For everyone, dad is your hero when you are a kid. The attitude that I possess now has been adopted from my dad. I have seen him go through lot of difficulties and he has showed me how to overcome each of them in every facet of life.  

Tennis player

Any piece of advice you would like to give to our readers?

“Always follow your heart. Do what you are best at and give all you can. You will definitely succeed.”

How do you define yourself as an Alpha Indian? Any specific quote you believe in? *

Sport has given me so much and thus, I always try to give it back to the sport. Being in Army, seeing the tricolor next to my name and having the privilege to wear a jersey which says ‘INDIA’ is much more than a million dollar feeling.

“If you do anything with dedication, perseverance and hard-work, you can achieve your goals.” Says N Sriram Balaji

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