Shrivalli misses wild card, but has fine experience


B. Shrivalli Rashmikaa missed the girls’ wild card for the French Open junior tennis championship, in a three-nation competition at Rolland Garros, but had the unforgettable experience of competing on the Grand Slam courts in Paris, and met some of the top players including Serena Williams and Simona Halep.
The Indian champion of the Rendezvous Roland Garros junior competition in Delhi beat Chinese Cao Xue 6-3, 6-2, but lost to Brazil’s Ana Paula Melilo 7-6(4), 6-2, in the three-player competition, which was played on a league basis. Melilo won the wild card as she won both her matches.
“I led 5-4 in the first set against [Melilo]. I could not make it to the main draw, but it was a great experience,” said Shrivalli.
Unlike the earlier times when the event used to be played near the Eiffel Tower, the courts at the Roland Garros were given for the junior wild card competition this time. “It was great to play at the Roland Garros. We played on court No.6. We were also allowed to use the gym and the Locker Room,” said the delighted 16-year-old.
“I also met Halep, Serena and others. I was lucky to take a picture with Serena,” said Shrivalli, who is coached by Sajid Lodi. Siddhant Banthia, who has competed at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, also missed out on Roland Garros as he too won one match and lost one in the league.
Both Banthia and Shrivalli are next scheduled to compete in the ITF grade-2 tournament in Poland.


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