Published: 26 November 2012
Sharmal was the topic at the recently concluded Tennis Nationals Championship. He was the youngest unseeded player to come up to the semi finals at this year’s Nationals beating the national 3rd seed.
Sharmal student of Royal College Colombo is the youngest in his family. His two elder brothers Roshan and Rukshan are currently studying in England. They too have represented Royal, Roshan in the senior age groups and Rukshan in the junior age groups. Sharmal is a part of the Royal College under 15 team and also a member of the National School Games team.
A part from tennis in school he is a member of the School Philatelic Club and also a member of the Catholic Union. Sharmal started playing tennis at a tender age of 3. He was inspired by his brothers; he started playing tennis at Moors Sports Club under the patronage of Coach Kingsley Candappa. For him to come this far in his tennis career his parents, 1st coach Kingsley Candappa, present coach Mr. Vijay and specially his international coach Suresh Menon have helped him a lot. His favorite international tennis players are Roger Federer and Robin Bo Carl Soderling; local tennis players are Rajeev Rajapakse and Harshana Godamanna. He says his strengths are his serve and his forehand. His major achievements are winning the ITF under 14 group two tournament, which qualified him to play ITF under 14 group one. He was placed 4th in group one and finished 8th in the World group.
His near future plans are to play ITF under 18 tournaments and if he makes it to the first 200 players; he will take up tennis as his career which he thinks would help him socially. After his O levels he wants to go to Spain and train himself to play ATP if he makes it through. When we asked him how he defeated 3rd seed Sankha Athukorale he said “I just stuck to one plan by keeping more balls in play and capitalized on his backhand which was weak.” This is the second time he participated at the Nationals Championship and has shown improvement from last year. Last year he lost to Harshana in the 1st round, this year he advanced up to the semis. Playing nationals has helped him a lot. “I get the opportunity to play with Davis Cup players; it helps me to predict the future standards that I need to practice towards.” says the youngster. The factor that motivates him is when competitions get tougher it makes him practice harder. When he is down in a set he stays cool and says to himself go for your shots just give 100%. In concluding we asked him what do you want to be and he said “I want to be a simple man and become an icon in my country.”
Thepapare is privileged to highlight; up and coming youngsters of this class. Also we want to wish Sharmal the very best for his future and hope that he will continue to make his country proud.
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