October 18th, 2016
Ajay Malik, a 13-year-old Class 9 student, has emerged as a national tennis champion. He started his journey when he was 10-years-old and would practise on mud courts developed by his father on agricultural land. His cousin Sombir Malik would coach him. Sombir himself learnt the game by watching matches on television but unfortunately due to the elbow issue; he couldn’t take it forward. Under his guidance, Ajay won under 14 boys single title in National Tennis Championship at the DLTA Complex.
His father Ajmer Malik is a retired Subedar from Indian Army and had no money to pay for refreshment between breaks during his matches. Throughout the match, Ajay just drank water which solely gave him enough strength to endure himself to the end of the game.
In three years practice, he managed to win the biggest title in the country in his age category.
Ajay would practice in mud court where the net for mud courts was supported by electricity poles. Instead of drawing the lines by lime powder, nylon ropes were used as they were cheaper. His father spent 3 lakh of his retirement fund to build the tennis court for his son. He didn’t take any scientific training but resort to simple training methods.
“5kg to 100kg weights were used by him while running to build strength in legs and wrist. With such tough training, he developed endurance. Though he needs tactical exposure,” says Arun who has coached many junior Indian team players, as reported by Firstpost.
Arun had also helped Ajay to get four racquets in a year from the Head, as Ajay racquet’s gut was broken just before the match and he left everything on God. His father couldn’t pay to repair the racquet since it would require 800Rs and he only had 300Rs in his pocket which he saved for the ticket from Delhi to his village.
Ajay has two pairs of shoes. He uses one to practise daily while the other one he has kept for tournaments.
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