KIYG double gold medalist Chirag lets his racket do the talking | Tennis news

PUNE: At 17, Chirag Duhan has the right setup to make a difference in professional tennis.
The Delhi-based right-hander who represents Haryana is easy on his feet at 6’4 “and has fluid ground strokes – all of which was evident in his 7-6, 6-1 win over Kazakhstan’s Artur Khairutdinov in the opening round of Aryan Pumps ITF Asian B1 Junior (U18) tennis championships here on Monday.
The youngster, who trains under Gaurav Sharma at the Grow Tennis Academy, got off to a strong start to the year as he won three ITF grade 4 titles before the second wave of coronavirus disrupted his schedule.
“I don’t play a lot abroad, so my ranking dropped from 132 (in March 2021) to 254 after the pandemic,” said the wiry boy in a disappointed voice after finishing his game at the Deccan Gymkhana.
Chirag had caught the eye when he won both singles and doubles gold medals at the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati last year.
But the scholarships announced by the Indian Sports Authority for the winners were never realized for Chirag, a former number 1 in the U16 section and the current number 1 in the U18 national team.
“I was told that only players in certain sports would get the scholarships,” said Chirag, who works with fitness trainer Sahiv Khan.
Still, it was a remarkable journey for a boy whose love affair with racket began at the age of eight – quite late by international standards – when he and his father stopped their two-wheeler near a tennis academy one day to escape the rain .
“I saw some of the kids play after it stopped raining and I told my dad I wanted to play this game too. And the first day I started I fell in love with the sport,” said Chirag , who played the road to Wimbledon in 2018, said.