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Shivika Burman

Former Professional Tennis Champion

Co-Founder - The Tennis Tree Tennis Coaching Academy

“Sportsmanship teaches a lot about life. I had experienced getting to know myself at a much younger age as I had started playing tennis since the age of 6. My father was a professional tennis player himself and he decided to train my brother and me. He picked up on my interest in the game and started coaching me professionally.

I won quite a few tournaments and continued training along the way. By the time I was

13, I would travel nation-wide for national tournaments and by 14, I was among the top 5 Tennis Junior Tennis Players of the Country and my 16, I was the National Champion of India.

My brother decided to focus on his academic journey, and I decided to pursue the game. I traveled by myself and experienced it all that comes with being a sportsperson. I.

By 2014, my injuries and shoulder surgery had slowed me down a bit and even though it would frustrate me, I still tried coming back to the field. Gradually realizing that there would be nothing positive in having to play a bad game rather than retiring from Tennis so I could do more in life, and I did.

2017 is when I started my Tennis Coaching Academy “The Tennis Tree” with a friend, to teach young players and children who would be interested in the game. At the academy, I tell my students to treat tennis as passion and not life in its entirety. The parents who pressure the child do not always see the journey and progress, rather only the success

and failures.

I advise them this because I have seen the difference with my father. He encouraged me only after seeing my interest in the sport and neither did he strain us with his expectations ergo his professional level, nor did he make it all about him. I did miss a lot of school when I played, but my education was all from my travels and experiences as my father would always say when someone would ask him about the perils of me missing out on “conventional education”. He had trained us/me, but never once did he pressure us unfairly.

To find something we derive happiness from is to deal with everything in the ballgame; the highs the lows, everything. My experience with failure, victory, challenges was my own to process because I had committed to Tennis and I am glad to be experiencing it in different ways.”

Shivika Burman

Interviewed and transcribed by Maryam Syed


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