Davis Cupper for India. ATP Tour Doubles Player.
Purav Raja is an Indian Tennis Player who turned pro in 2005. He specializes in doubles and competes on the ATP World Tour. He has 2 ATP world tour level titles in men’s doubles.
Purav Raja began playing tennis when he was 7 years old. Growing up his tennis idols were Stefan Edberg and Steven Gerrard. And like many tennis fans and players, Wimbledon is his favourite tournament. He also enjoys playing pool, cricket and table tennis. Raja says that if he was not a tennis player he would have been a politician. Raja is very active in the Ananda Ashram orphanage and The Fellowship of the Physically Handicapped in Mumbai.
The COVID-19 break has been challenging for all athletes, trying to stay fit and getting match ready. Purav took the tennis community online through his Instagram live “Chai with Raja”.
Interview with Purav Raja
What challenges did you face, in getting to where you are today?
Immense challenges but was blessed to have parents with a vision of grade 10 and grade 12 being brutal to any aspiring athletes career. I think those two exams are a key cause of India’s sporting downfall.
What drives you to get up in the morning and go training every day?
Getting better at what I do is motivating.
What is important to you? (apart from sports what else do you do, and believe in ? It’s good for people reading this to know that there are other interests too aside from sports)
I believe the single most important thing in life is happiness. I revolve my life around all sports and little bit on Amisha’s music now.
How does being an athlete make you a better person?
We lose everyday. As an athlete losing a lot makes us get over the fear of failure which I believe is imperative to life.
One word that describes you?
What do you give up to play sports?
A lot of NORMAL things but mainly being with my family and instead travel 40 weeks a year.
What mental tool do you use under pressure?
I keep telling myself it doesn’t matter as pressure is a privilege so make sure to enjoy it.
What is your mantra?
People who say they are BUSY are actually the most free. The truly BUSY people make time for everything.
If you could play another sport, what would it be?
If indian then cricket – A sport I love is probably snooker.
What expectations do you have of a coach?
Coach has to be motivational and understanding. If he gets best out of me everyday his job is done.
At what age did you know that you wanted to become a professional Tennis player?
What do you do to calm your butterflies when you compete?
I tell myself it’s a tennis match- Regardless if I lose or win there will still be people starving in Africa so enjoy the moment.
What coaches, teachers or other people have been great influences in your life and why or how?
Quite a few actually – Basically anyone who believed impossible is nothing and my school teachers always taught me talent was overrated. It’s how you use that talent everyday that makes you great.
What kind of philanthropic work are you involved in, if any?
I do a few things for the Fellowship of Physically Handicapped but would like to do more for kids in sport in Mumbai too.
What’s on your iPod right now? (What music genres and which artists do you enjoy listening to before a match?)
Bollywood or a happy Afrobeats song- Jerusalema type
Why do you think everyone should play a sport?
Gives you all of life’s most important lessons, teamwork, winning, losing, communication and dreaming
Which sport would you not let your child play? Why?
Rugby and Boxing as I would be scared.
What do you do to keep fit? Nutrition?
Keep low carb intake and run almost everyday.
How do you incorporate mindfulness practices into sports?
Practise with a plan and say aloud what you are thinking in practise till you reach the right mind space
Thank you Antara Pandit Official for facilitating this interview.