''My main goal is to figure within 100 in ATP rankings and I am striving hard in this direction and focusing on fitness and my game,'' the promising talent, currently ranked 384 in the world, told UNI here.
Rastogi's first tryst with a racquet was when he was just three years old. ''I first used a plastic racquet. I was picking up balls near a tennis court when the Coach asked me to serve two balls and after recognising my talent, he allowed me to play. That is how I picked up tennis though I was playing cricket. My father, who was a State Badminton player in Maharashtra, wanted me to come up in sports and with encouragement from everybody in the family, I started playing tennis.'' With his hard work and determination, Rastogi became the second Indian to be ranked No.three in the World Junior Ranking, after Leander Paes.
The Mumbai-born had won many domestic tournaments in the under-eight category and was top ranked in Maharashtra in that group. He was 16 when he first played in Pro Tennis tournament in the Chennai Open. Subsequently, he played in many international tournaments, though he was yet to win a title.
To a question, Rastogi said he was naughty and used to throw the racquet on the field. Sometimes his Coach had sent him out of the court for his anger. ''Now as I grow, I have realised my mistakes and am controlling myself in the field and win and loss equally,'' he added.
His Coach Sanjay Podar, who is travelling with him for the last one year, said ''Karan has a bright future. He is young and he has talent. In one of the Grand slams in Junior, he had reached the finals and he was only next to Leander to achieve this feat for India.'' Despite having talent, Rastogi is yet to get a sponsor.
Rastogi, who was ousted in the quarterfinals of the Chikmagalur ATP Challenger Championship, is trying his luck in the Dharwad leg main draw, beginning on April 25.
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