Natasha with Juhi Chawla
B D Narayankar
PYC GYMKHANA: After a superb display, Natasha Palha completed the victory with a scintillating shot before sinking into the mirth of delight and nearly breaking into tears.
“I like to give my best in the semi-finals as that transfers you to the other planet. I have stormed into PYC ATF finals is incredible,” she told Maharashtra Herald after beating Zainab Ali Sajjad on Thursday.
Reminiscing some good moments of the game, Natasha said she had a very good outing and mixed up her game according to match situation. “I had all my serves going well today,” she said.
Zainab put me in a bit of bother in the first set as she was getting her serves right. “At one stage I was down 2-3, but hurried on to catch her in the next three games, which I eventually won,” Natasha said.
Even the second set was not an easy ball game. “I was down 2-3, but I broke her service on right time and finished the match comfortably,” she said.
Natasha came into this tournament with tons of confidence behind her boasting of claiming U-14 and U-16 Championship Series played at Mumbai this month. “I had good outings in Super Series too where I reached semi-finals before going down to Sonia Dayal,” she said.
With this sort of confidence were you expecting to reach the finals here? “Yes. The upper draw was much easier than the lower,” she quipped.
Do you fancy beating third seed Ankita Raina in finals? “I had played her once three years ago. Then I was new and lost the game 6-3, 6-1. She played with lot more power, but made lot of mistakes. Now she has mended her game. She will be tough a customer,” Natasha said.
What will be your strategy to subdue Ankita? “Play as she plays – attack. Being tit-for-tat sometimes pays. I too have a good range of shots, including forehand and service,” a die-hard Roger Federer and Justin Henin fan said.