By SHERYL DIXIT
Top of the world
Young Shubhika Dubey is riding high after the Meriden School’s tennis team, of which she is a part, won the 2015 ISF World Schools Tennis Championship in Qatar recently. Organised by the International School Sport Federation, the ISF tennis tournament showcases some of the best young players from around the globe. Participating nations in 2015 included England, Germany, Italy, Turkey, France, Belgium, China and Brazil. Shubhika was part of the six-member Meriden team of Claudia Furdi, Linda Huang, Amne Ghamraoui, Violet Apisah and Michaela Haet, who dominated each of their matches.
Shubhika’s interest in tennis began when the family moved from India to Westmead in Sydney, right next door to a tennis court. Shubhika’s natural talent, hard work and perseverance saw her play her first tournament at just 9. Besides, dad Sanjiv Dubey was a professional tennis player in India, and currently coaches independently through his tennis academy, so its not surprising that Shubhika inherited a fair share of her considerable talent. “It all started with my dad and me hitting balls over the net. My mum and dad would spend their free time practicing with me, and I just got better. My dad is a very positive man and that has come in my life as well. I feel there was always an intent to strive for success,” said Shubhika. “My dad grew as a tennis coach and I grew as a tennis player and after 9 years of perseverance, I have been gifted something which I will cherish rest of my life,” she added.
Shubhika studies in Year 11 at the Meriden School in Strathfield, Sydney, reputed to be one of the best tennis schools for girls in Australia, a move that has enhanced her talent at the sport. In addition to being a part of the winning team of the 2015 ISF World Schools Tennis Championship, she was also a finalist in the prestigious Tildesley tennis doubles. The Combined Independent Schools (CIS) association, of which she is a part, also won the NSW championships.
Naturally, Shubhika and her teammates are thrilled at the win in which they played against Germany in the semifinals and won with a margin. In the finals they beat Turkey 4 games to 1. “At first it was hard to think of ourselves as world champions, but it slowly kicked in and everyone was in tears, of joy of course!” stated Shubhika excitedly.
Shubhika believes that she owes her success mainly to the support of her parents saying, “My parents took me to a level where my potential as a tennis player started to get noticed. It is very hard to explain their contribution in few words, as it is a journey of over 10 years. I owe everything to my parents and my teachers; whatever I am is because of them. My prowess on the tennis court also gave me lots of self-confidence and self-belief in all aspects of life.”
Said dad Sanjiv, “As a parent it was a proud moment to see Shubhika’s name scripted as a world champion forever. This is something which she will cherish rest of her life and so will the parents.”
Unsurprisingly, this young sportswoman’s role model is Roger Federer, because of his calm and composed approach during all his wins and losses. Watching him play live in the Brisbane International in 2014 was a dream come true for Shubhika. It is her desire to remain as level headed as him, through wins or losses.
But this young lady’s aspiration is to try her best and see if she can become another Sania Mirza. “My current goals would be to go and play the Australian Open Juniors next year, play many more ITF’s, and of course, keep working hard,” said Shubhika.
So what is Shubhika’s message to those young hopefuls looking to pursue a career in sport? “Every kid is capable of achieving more than what I have done, but they need to have patience and self-belief. To be what you want, you need to love what you do, have a positive attitude and be willing to change and adapt for success,” said Shubhika with a maturity beyond her years.
Shubhika has won many state level junior tournaments and has always been among the mix of top tennis players in her age group. Her current Australian ranking is 136 in the women’s category. But she also aims to move into the top 100 in Australia and is working towards this goal. The young lady aims to play tennis for next 8 years at the least, to realise her true potential as a tennis player. “Shubhika’s latest achievement will further motivate her to work harder and also to set higher goals in future. The challenges and competition will only get harder from here on, but she needs to be ready to face them off and keep making inroads into becoming a better tennis player,” says Sanjiv.
Shubhika certainly has the potential to shine among the best and brightest on Australia’s tennis horizon. With a positive attitude, dedication and hard work, we hope to see her achieve new and challenging heights. Well done, Shubhika!