Exclusive: Badminton prodigy from Dubai earns praise from Indian legend PV Sindhu

The Olympic medallist speaks to Khaleej Times about the young 19-year-old who is taking the sport by storm


Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Thu 2 Feb 2023, 7:03 AM

Fourteen years ago when Tanisha Crasto, then all of five, picked up a badminton racquet for the first time in Dubai’s Etisalat Academy, she was too young to comprehend the intricacies of the sport.

Tanisha was just happy with a few hits on the court.

Slowly, jaws dropped at India Club as her powerful smashes and delicate drop shots began to weave magic.

The prodigious talent was beginning to take the UAE badminton by storm.

But Tanisha was meant for bigger things and she left Dubai for India in 2017 to take her game to the next level.

Living away from her parents wasn’t easy, but Tanisha showed grit in a demanding and highly competitive environment.

She soon became one of India’s finest young players, even represented India at the junior world championships before successfully making the transition to the senior level.

File photo
File photo

A doubles specialist, Tanisha was part of the Indian squad at the Thomas and Uber Cup last year.

The 19-year-old prodigy also won the mixed doubles title at the Syed Modi International with Ishaan Bhatnagar, her first piece of silverware at the senior level in international badminton.

Now Tanisha also counts a legend of the sport among her admirers.

That legendary figure is none other than PV Sindhu, the two-time Olympic medallist.

Sindhu, who famously won the 2019 World Championships gold medal, has been hugely impressed with the progress made by the Dubai-born Tanisha.

“I know Tanisha for quite sometime now, she is a very sweet girl. She works very hard and she is doing really well for herself in doubles and mixed doubles, she has played some amazing matches recently,” Sindhu, who was in Dubai recently, told the Khaleej Times.

“I mean people looking at me, people taking me as an inspiration, I really wish, with my knowledge, I would definitely pass it on and I would tell young players like Tanisha that this what you need to do and how much hard work you need to do to come to the top level.”

Tanisha revealed how Sindhu has helped her deal with some of her toughest moments in badminton.

“She is a really very beautiful person. I have learned so much from her. There were so many times when I was really down. But she stepped in and motivated me.” Tanisha told the Khaleej Times over the phone from Thailand where she is currently playing in the Thailand Masters.

“She is so full of spirit and she is so hard working that a lot of players that look up to her would only work even harder,” Tanisha said.

“She also is a very sweet person, even if you are complete stranger and if you go up to her, she would speak to you so nicely. That’s why she is such a big role model for us.”

Tanisha will don the India colours later this month in Dubai at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships (February 14 to 19).

It’s an event the badminton fraternity in the UAE is waiting for with bated breath as Dubai’s very own Tanisha Crasto will don the Indian colours under the leadership of her mentor, PV Sindhu.


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