The WTA Future Stars tournament is held yearly in conjunction with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. As part of the program, top U14 and U16 female tennis players from 21 countries around Asia-Pacific are provided valuable experiences and exclusive insight into the world of professional women’s tennis.
In September, the Sri Lanka leg of the Junior Race to Singapore kicked off in Colombo. After a long week of intense and grueling matches, Anjalika Kurera and Oshini Herath emerged as the champions of the U14 and U16 qualifying events. They have been given the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent Sri Lanka at the WTA Future Stars event in October.
“Wow! I really played some of my best tennis ever during the qualifiers. I’m so glad that I’ll be going for the WTA Future Stars event in October. That’s only a few weeks away, I can’t wait.” Anjelika Kurera excitedly told the WTA Finals team, when asked how she felt about qualifying for the WTA Future Stars event.
She first picked up the racquet when she was 7 and has since come a long way, rising the ranks to become one of Sri Lanka’s top junior players. She tells the WTA Finals team that it’s the love for the sport that always keeps her motivated to become a better player. Through the years, she testifies that tennis has also helped her develop character.
“Tennis taught me positive virtues such as patience, humility and determination,” says Kurera.
When asked about who is her favourite WTA player, she immediately took out her phone and showed us a picture of Angelique Kerber.
“I love Angie, she’s one of the best players and is so hardworking. I’m so excited that she qualified for the WTA Finals, I even did a mini celebratory dance when I read about it. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to watch her play live,” said Kurera.
Like Kurera, Oshini Herath’s favourite player is also Angelique Kerber.
“I think she’s such an amazing player, she’s patient, got a killer backhand and has the best movement around the court- that’s something I really need to work on,” Herath told the WTA Finals team with a sheepish grin.
Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka but now residing in Phuket, Thailand, Herath gets the best of both worlds. She represents Sri Lanka in International tournaments while training in Thailand. She has done well in both countries- being ranked the No.3 U16 Junior in Sri Lanka and clinching the runners-up position in the Thailand National Competition this year.
Herath has two goals- the first is to obtain an athletic scholarship to play tennis at college in the United States. Additionally, she hopes to crack the top 100 rankings of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) within the next seven years.
“Honestly, I’m still so surprised! I was not expecting to qualify. I stayed focused, dug deep and tried my best during the qualifiers and I’m glad that I managed to pull through,” admitted Herath. “Nonetheless, I’m really excited to be a part of the WTA Future Stars event.”
Herath is eager to forge new friendships with the other girls that will be at the WTA Future Stars event. She believes that the WTA Future Stars event will challenge her to improve and become a better tennis player.
The WTA Finals team wishes both Kurera and Oshini the best in their preparation for the WTA Future Stars event in Singapore!
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 21 October before the opening ceremony of WTA Finals for free. Click here to get your tickets to the WTA Finals.