Participating for the second time in the WTA Future Stars event, Nepal held its qualifying tournament over the period of July. Prerana Koirala and Anne Mathema emerged victorious in the U14 and U16 categories respectively.
“WTA is a great platform for growing players like us. Being able to play the WTA Future Stars tournament representing Nepal is a great honor and hopefully I will be able to reflect that excitement in my performances,” Koirala said following her victory at the qualifying event in Nepal.
Koirala, who turns 14 in September, started playing tennis in the 7th grade when the tennis coach of her school encouraged her to pick up the sport. Eventually, she was enrolled in the Hems Academy where she learnt both the mental and physical elements of the game. She learnt very quickly that tennis was a sport she really enjoyed playing and decided to pursue it as a career.
“I love that I get to train regularly, travel and compete in different countries and meet so many new people,” Koirala said about why she loves the sport.
Serena Williams is another reason why Koirala loves playing tennis. Growing up, watching Williams play was the one thing she always looked forward to. She admires the soon-to-be mom’s strength, and appreciates what an inspiration Williams has been to so many young girls. Koirala is constantly motivated by Serena’s determination to never give up on her dreams and hopes to one day be representing Nepal in grand slams.
The U14 No.1 in Nepal cannot wait to meet the best players in the region at the WTA Future Stars event in Singapore and promises she will be training very hard in the lead up to be prepared for the tournament.
Excited to participate in the WTA Future Stars event this October as well is Anne Mathema, who won the U16 qualifying tournament in Nepal.
“This is a big opportunity for me as I will be representing my country. I am excited to be playing in Singapore and confident that I will be able to do Nepal proud,” she said when she spoke to the WTA Finals team.
With a big dream of wanting to be among the prestigious Top 10 club in the WTA, Mathema has set smaller targets for herself to achieve on her way there. Among many other things, playing college tennis and achieving better ITF rankings are both part of her list.
Like Koirala, Mathema draws inspiration from Serena Williams. She credits Williams for teaching her good sportsmanship and attitude on court. She has never missed even a single match Williams has played.
“It helps me forget about everything else and just focus on myself. My strokes, my footwork, my game. For the duration of my training or my match, it’s just me and how I find a way win, to outsmart, to outlast my opponent,” the 16 year-old said about why she loved playing tennis so much.
Mathema started playing tennis after watching a group of people playing at the courts near her house. She was in awe of the sport and realized very quickly after starting to play that she enjoyed tennis too! She knew immediately that she wanted to make this her career and has been training very hard ever since.
Koirala and Mathema will be representing Nepal in the U14 and U16 categories respectively at the WTA Future Stars event in Singpaore this October. The WTA Finals team wishes both of them the very best as they train in the coming weeks for the tournament!
The WTA Future Stars event is held in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Catch the WTA Future Stars U14 and U16 Finals on 22 October before the opening ceremony of WTA Finals for free. Click here to get your tickets to the WTA Finals.