Norwich ace Monica Raviraj smashes her way to top of national rankings
- Credit: Submitted
Norwich tennis ace Monica Raviraj is establishing herself as one of the best young tennis players in the country, after reaching a career-high national ranking.
Raviraj briefly claimed top spot in the UK under-12 girls rankings after winning the Bolton Arena Winter National Tour under-12 girls singles title in Lancashire.
The 12-year-old, from Catton, has since dropped to fifth after finishing third at the Nottingham Tennis Club Winter Regional Tour under-14 girls singles tournament on Sunday, winning the first set of the third-place play-off 7-5 before her opponent retired at 1-0 down in the second set.
All of which makes for an exciting time for Taverham Hall School pupil as she prepares for a big season and plans to take on the best that Europe has to offer when she travels to France, Germany and Spain next year.
Raviraj trains at the Easton Tennis Centre at the Norfolk campus of Easton and Otley College, under the watch of coach Warren Sawyer.
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Sports and tennis centre manager at Easton and Otley College, Matt Breese, said: 'Monica has been with us for four years and is a tremendous talent. The recent tournament win shows that she can compete on a national level and we are proud of her achievements to date.
'We will be doing all we can to support her in her efforts to turn professional.'
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Last year the youngster attended the tennis academy of French coach Patrick Mouratoglou in Paris, who coaches women's world number one and 18-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
And whilst in France on the three-week training camp, Raviraj got to meet the American tennis star.
'That has to be one of my highlights of my life so far,' the tennis prodigy said. 'She is an inspirational figure and her achievements are something that I aspire towards.'
Raviraj continued: 'I have a five-year plan to try and get to the top. At the moment, I'm concentrating on academic study as I'll be changing schools next year.
'However, I still train and play virtually every day of the week as I'm determined to go as far as I can in the game.'
Her father, Ravi, added: 'The Easton tennis centre based at Easton and Otley College has been very supportive. We can access their facilities and the coaches have worked on Monica's game both in terms of the technical and psychological side of things.
'The recent win in Bolton was a massive boost and we are very excited about the future.'
Do you know of a future sporting star in Norfolk? Contact sports reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or firstname.lastname@example.org