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Pradeep Pattanayak

She is brilliant at serve technique. Her excellent backhand shot has to be seen to be believed. And not to mention her signature volleys. In a nutshell, she is a new tennis star in the making.  

Yes, we are talking about Sohini Mohanty, an emerging tennis sensation from Odisha who is aiming to make her mark in the racket sport's world stage. 

In a roller-coaster 2021, the new-gen tennis star showcased her tremendous potentiality on the court and won several accolades and awards despite much struggles. 

And with the onset of New Year, Sohini has now set her eyes at an envious feat of playing WTA as the first woman from Odisha. 
Having learnt the alphabets of tennis from a tender age of eight to be precise, the last 12 months saw Sohini scipting new milestones in her career including winning Asian U-14 girls singles titles at the Asian U-14 tennis tournament organised in Sonipat, Haryana, several AITA super series and championships.

Sohini’s dedication and determination has earned her a No-2 place in U-12 and a No-7 rank in U-14 National Rankings.  
“Last year, I won eight and three titles in singles and doubles respectively. My aim is to perform well at the AITA juniors and then at the AITA seniors but my ultimate target is WTA,” says Sohini. 

These days she is sweating on court for six to eight hours a day to fulfil her long cherished dream to set her foot at WTA as the first woman from Odisha. 

And in her journey thus far, her coach Farhan Ali, who has played a vital role, is leaving no stone unturned to make Sohini a successful tennis player by training her on all the knacks of the game. 

Sohini, in her admittance, says world famous tennis star Roger Federer and Indian tennis diva Sania Mirza are her career idols. 
“If everything goes as per my aim, I will reach WTA in four years. My target is to secure a place in the top 50 of AITA rankings towards the end of this year, and obviously, I hope to be at the top,” says a confident Sohini. 

Her coach Farhan Ali is also full of praise for her. “The journey to WTA is a long one. Before that, she has to play a lot of junior AITAs and keep climbing the ranking ladder. My aim is that she should reach Junior Grand Slam first,” observes Ali. 

Sohini has so far won more than 60 National and International as well as State level titles. It is her parents who persuaded her to take up tennis. Tennis being a highly competitive and expensive sport, financial problem has emerged as a hurdle on Sohini's way to achieving her aim. Should the government or any corporate house come forward to extend a helping hand towards her, she would definitely carve a niche in World tennis and bring many glories to the State, adds Ali.

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