The new champion at World Deaf Tennis Championship, Prithvi Sekhar defeated the third-seeded Jaroslav Smedek from the Czech Republic in the finals in Antalya, Turkey. The hearing-impaired champion, Sekhar is an ardent fan of Novak Djokovic, he looks up to the Serbian legend and draws inspiration from him to slam the tennis ball at the professional level.
“There are a few tennis players I look up to. I follow their success stories. For instance, Djokovic has had really difficult situations to deal with. I look up to him,” Sekhar said.
World Number one, Novak Djokovic grew up slamming the tennis balls on the walls of Belgrade, Serbia. The tennis adept was practicing tennis in a war-torn environment in Serbia.
“At 11, I was the big brother,” the top-ranked Serb, Novak Djokovic mentioned in his autobiography ‘Serve to win’. “I’d been holding myself responsible for their safety ever since NATO forces started bombing my hometown of Belgrade.”
Djokovic’s remarkable journey from the war-effected regions of Serbia to the prestigious courts of tennis inspires thousands of young professional aspirants of the sport.
Prithvi Sekhar made his breakthrough in May 2018 at the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The World Tennis Tour was held in China, and Sekhar earned his first ATP point by winning a professional tennis match there.
“It inspired me to play more competitive tennis,” Shekar said. “This win is truly precious for me since playing for the country and getting a gold medal is special; not to mention getting to hold the national flag after the win.” The Chennai-lad, Prithvi Sekhar also looks up to the Swiss legend, Roger Federer.
A few weeks ago, another hearing-impaired tennis player from South Korea, Duck-hee Lee became the first the first-ever deaf ATP player to win a main draw match at Winston-Salem Open 2019.
Also, Lee looks up to Roger Federer.