Success Story of Ankita Raina, an Indian Professional Tennis Player
Ankita Ravinderkrishan Raina is very well known as Ankita Raina. She is an Indian professional tennis player. Currently, she is the India’s number one women’s single player.
She has won one title on the WTA Tour & one more title at WTA 125 tournaments in doubles. It is along with 11 singles & 22 doubles titles on the ITF Circuit.
Raina entered the top 200 singles ranking for the first time in April 2018. She became only the fifth player representing India to achieve this feat.
At the 2016 South Asian Games, she won gold medals in the women’s singles and mixed-doubles events. At the 2018 Asian games, she won a bronze medal in singles. She is one of only two women representing India who has won a WTA-level title.
Ankita Raina has a win-loss record of 26-21 while playing for India Fed Cup team. Over 2011 IS Open champion Samantha Stosur, Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki, former world No. 5 Sara Errani, and top 50 player Yulia Putintseva she has notable wins.
Early & Personal life:
Ankita Raina was born on 11th January 1993 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. She was born to Kashmiri Pandit couple Lalita Raina & Ravinder Krishen Raina.
She has a brother named Ankur. She was born & brought up in Ahmedabad. At the age of 14, she moved to Pune, Maharashtra, as Pune has a better infrastructure for raising young tennis talent.
Their decision to move Pune was based on her great performance at the Asians 14 and under masters’ tournament in Melbourne, where she placed second.
Ankita Raina placed second there. Raina briefly studied at Brihan Maharashtra. She is fluent in Hindi, Gujarati, Kashmiri & English.
She has represented her home state Gujarat at the national events. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, and Sania Mirza were her growing up idols. She trains from the Hemant Bendrey Tennis Academy at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana in Pune.
Sports Career of Ankita Raina:
At the age of five, Raina started playing tennis. She is coached by Hemant Bendrey, he was known for his strong discipline & mentality.
As a junior, she made her first professional appearance in 2009, at a small ITF tournament in Mumbai. She continued to participate in local ITF events with limited success in 2010.
Her 2011 season saw her advance to three ITF Circuit finals in doubles, winning one with countrywoman Aishwarya Agrawal. She won her first professional singles title in New Delhi and won three more in doubles in 2012.
Ankita Raina won two matches at the Mumbai Open, advancing to the quarterfinal. That was her breakthrough tournament. She reached a ranking of world No. 181 in April 2018.
After winning a $25k title, she became the fifth Indian national to crack to the top-200 ladies’ singles rankings. That was following Nirupama Sanjeev, Sania Mirza, Shikha Uberoi, and Sunitha Rao.
Ankita Raina won Ankita won the bronze medal in the Asian Games at Jakarta, Indonesia in singles event in August 2018. Sania Mirza & Ankita are the only players who represented India to won singles medal at the Asian Games.
In the same year, later she won the biggest doubles title of her career at the Taipei Challenger. It was partnering with compatriot Karman Kaur Thandi.
Raina won a $25k title in Singapore, with a solid win over Arantxa Rus in the final.
She got her first top-100 win at the Kunming Open, defeating Samantha Stosur, former US Open champion and top-10 player.
Ankita Raina scored the biggest win of her career. At the French Open, she lost her first qualifying match to well-known American youngster Coco Gauff in two tight sets, despite playing well. Raina entered the top 150 doubles rankings for the first time, after reaching the finals of the Suzhou Ladies Open with partner Rosalie van der Hoek in October 2011. She is now coached by Arjun Kadhe. He is also her trainer and hitting partner.
She had a disappointing result at the Australian Open. She was unwell due to the Australian bushfires. However, Ankita found further doubles success by winning two back-to-back ITF titles in Nonthaburi alongside Bibiane Schoofs.
That was followed by reaching her first WTA Tour semifinal at the Thailand Open alongside Rosalie. That gave her a new career-high ranking of No. 119 in doubles.
Early in 2020, she also won two singles titles, one in Nonthaburi, and the other in Jodhpur, India. Then she helped India advance to the Fed Cup World Group 2 playoffs for the first time in history in April 2020 in Dubai.
That was along with Sania Mirza, Rutuja Bhosale, Riya Bhatia and Sowjanya Bavisetti.
Raina returned to competition at the resumption of the tour in September after a long hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
There she suffered early exits in ITF tournaments as she played in after the break. In 2020, she competed at the French Open qualifying where she advanced to the second round for the first time but lost to Kurumi Nara.
In the same year December, Raina won the biggest ITF doubles title of her career at Dubai, alongside Ekaterine Gorgodze. After that she reached a new career-high doubles ranking of 117.
In 2021, Ankita Raina competed in all the Grand Slam championships and the Olympics, but had first-round exits in all in doubles category.
Again she competed mixed doubles only in Wimbledon but that too was a first-round exit. In 2021 at the Australian Open, she had her best performance at a major, losing in the third and final qualifying round to Olga Danilović.
Then she became the fourth player representing India to feature in the main draw of a Grand Slam championship (after Nirupama Mankad, Nirupama Sanjeev, and Sania Mirza).
Ankita Raina won the first WTA Tour singles main-draw match of her career at Philip Island Trophy. In doubles, she partnered with Kamilla Rakhimova to advance to her first WTA level final. There they defeated the Russian pairing of Anastasia Potapova and Anna Blinkova.
With this victory, she become the second Indian female after Sania Mirza to win a WTA title, She is also the third Indian woman after Mirza and Shikha Uberoi to break into the top 100 of the WTA rankings, debuting at world No. 94 in doubles.
Her improved ranking allowed her to compete more regularly on the WTA Tour with limited success. At the French Open, she lost in the second qualifying round in singles. She enjoyed a strong grass-court season in doubles, reaching back to back semifinals at the Nottingham Open and Nottingham Trophy.
At Wimbledon, Ankita Raina competed in all three events, But lost in the first qualifying round of singles to Varvara Lepchenko and the first round of doubles and mixed doubles, partnering Lauren Davis and Ramkumar Ramanathan, respectively.
Ankita Raina has signed sponsorship deals with the Sports Authority of Gujarat and Yonex, and she is officially employed with ONGC. Hence, Raina uses Yonex racquets and clothing. Adani Group is her current supporter.
- In 2018, at Jakarta-palembang in women’s single she won bronze medal in Asian games.
- In 2016, at Guwahati-Shillong women’s single, she won Gold medal in South Asian Games.
- In 2016, at Guwahati-Shillong women’s mix doubles, she won Gold medal in South Asian Games.
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