Salsa Aher is without doubt one of India’s top juniors. This 16 -year- old school girl from Symbiosis, Pune has the game and passion to take her to the next level in tennis. In a chat with her , I found a few interesting facets about her life on and off the court.
National Acclaim : Winner at Under – 16 Fenesta Nationals in 2016; Runner Up at Under -14 Fenesta Nationals in 2015
International Acclaim: Semi-Final at WTA Futures Stars , 2017 in Singapore. Won all her round robin matches but lost a tight 3 setter in the semi- final; Runner-Up at ITF Junior in Thailand in 2017; Runner-Up in doubles at ITF Grade 3 and Grade 4 in India in 2017.
Started playing tennis : From the age of 6 years. Her father who was a sportsman introduced her to tennis.
Parental Support: Both her parents, Tejaswinee Aher and Parag Aher have been her pillar of strength. Her mother quit her job so that she can support Salsa in her sport. She always drops and picks her up from the tennis academy. Either of the parents travel with her for her tournaments.
School Support: Symbiosis is supportive of her sports. The school often hold exams for her later during her travel for tournaments.
Salsa Aher`s early morning practice with her coach, Kedar Shah from Bounce Sports Academy, Pune – Working on her footwork and agility.
Tennis Academy: She finds herself to be lucky to be training under her coach Kedar Shah at Bounce Sports Academy. She finds that her game has improved considerably.
Important Support: She feels that she has been very lucky to be supported by Lakshya Sports, General Industrial Control (GIC), Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) and Yonex . While Lakshya Sports, GIC and MSLTA support her monetarily; Yonex helps as a racket sponsor.
- To reach top 100 in the juniors by end of this year and get direct entry into Junior Grand Slams
- To do well in the Indian ITF Junior circuits of Chandigarh, Delhi in early part of 2018
- To get exposed to the European circuit as early as possible
- To work hard on her footwork, speed and agility
Confidence booster match: Her match against the experienced world no 402 Ana Veselinovic in the Women`s $25K ITF in Pune. She was up 5-2 in the second set before losing it.
Style of Play: Power game and loves keeping the points short.
Demeanour on court: Focused and not shy to display emotions with fist pumps and screams.
Favorite Surface: Hard
Favourite player and why: Garbiñe Muguruza because of her aggressive play.
Salsa Aher`s morning training starts at 6.00 am.
- 6.00 am to 10.45 am – Intensive training with 10 mins breaks in between
- 10.45 am to 11.00 am – Cool Down
———————– School Time ———————–
- 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm – Training on specifics
- 5.00 pm to 5.20 pm – Cool down
- 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm – Fitness training at Gold Gym that includes upper and lower body training
Diet: Strict diet from Monday to Saturday
- 6 eggs a day (2 yolk and 6 egg whites)
- Panner/Chicken for lunch and dinner with chappatis
- Venky`s Albumen (white egg powder) for recovery
Off day: Sunday
Favorite cheat food on Sunday: Burger
Favorite pastime on off days: Hang out with friends or go for Hindi movies.
Favorite hang out place: German Bakery
Favorite Bollywood stars: Siddhart Malhotra and Alia Bhatt
Her fierce competitors on court: Tanisha Kashyap and Vaidehi Chaudhari
Tennis Buddies: Satwika Sama and Sacchitt Sharma
Ultimate tennis goal: To turn pro and give it all that she has to be a good tennis player.