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A story of friendship in times of COVID-19

Two young tennis enthusiasts who participated at the recently concluded Gadre Gaspar Dias Open 2020, speak to NT KURIOCITY about their love for the sport, training schedule, and Roger Federer

A beautiful story of friendship has emerged from the tennis courts in Goa. 10-year-olds Tithee Bhoomkar and Vidhi Naik, both residents of the same housing complex in Old Goa, are fierce competitors on the courts and thick friends off it. The duo participated in the U-12 category at the recently concluded Gadre Gaspar Dias Open 2020.

A student of Rosary High School in Bambolim, Naik started playing the racquet sport a little over a year ago. “I saw a few of the elders

playing at the tennis court in our complex. Something about tennis instantly appealed to me. My parents encouraged me to take up coaching classes and I grew to love it even more,” she says.  

Bhoomkar, a student of Shiksha Niketan in Porvorim, also found herself drawn to the sport, thanks to her father, who loves tennis. Incidentally, both the girls have parents who are doctors.

Prior to the lockdown, the girls had a systematic training schedule in place. “Training under the same coach, on the same court, helps both of us a lot. We used to play practice matches and practiced our serves and volleys. We also work out together to build our stamina,”says Bhoomkar.

Interestingly, the duo faced off against each other at the semi-finals of the Gadre Gasper Dias Open tournament and Naik won that match, but the real winner was their friendship.

“I was really scared and nervous during the finals, because I already knew that my opponent was more experienced. Tithee was very supportive, although she lost against me in the semi-finals. She cheered me on throughout the finals and encouraged me from the side-lines. I gave my best. I didn’t win the finals, but I’m still happy,” says Naik.

“Training together and competing against each other at the tournament has brought us together and our friendship has grown stronger,”adds Bhoomkar. 

 Both the girls had a word of appreciation for their tennis coaches Valentino and Auduth, who have always encouraged them to give their very best.

The duo are also huge fans of

Roger Federer and they try and catch his matches on the television, to observe how the tennis great plays his game.

And though the COVID-19 outbreak has brought a temporary halt to their practice sessions, the duo is determined to continue training when the lockdown is lifted and look forward to getting back onto the courts.

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