Move over Sania Mirza, Leander Paes, and Mahesh Bhupathi! Mustafa M Raja from Mysuru is emerging as an extraordinary tennis player who is making a phenomenal mark on a global front with his prodigious skills.
Besides winning a record number of All India Tennis Association (AITA) titles in just two years, the ten-year-old has managed to wow the sports fraternity to the extent that he has been offered a scholarship by the US-based Rick Macci Tennis Academy in Florida.
A student of Class 5 at Excel Public School in the city, Mustafa is the first ever tennis player from Karnataka to be selected by the prestigious institute.
The young lad had begun playing the sport at the age of four when his father Murtuza K Raja built a mini tennis court at their house in Rajeevnagar.
“It was my dream that my child plays tennis and win the Wimbledon and other Grand Slams and Olympic medals for India. The day Mustafa was born on January 20, 2007, I made him hold a tiny crystal tennis racquet, which was gifted to me by my friend. He has been holding a proper tennis racquet since he was six months old,” Murtuza told the Times of India.
Joining Nagaraj Tennis Centre at five, Mustafa started training professionally and soon began playing club-level non-AITA tournaments by the time he was six. He went on to bag his first AITA national U-10 tournament when he was only eight.
You may also like: How These Small Actions at Home Made Veena a Fiery Tennis Star
There has been no looking back since then. Despite taking on much older and seasoned players, Mustafa has only gotten better and dexterous with each passing tournament.
Till date, he has won 21 AITA titles (16 winning and five runners-up titles). In fact, he has also set an extraordinary record with 10 U-10 titles to his credit.
In the U-12 section, Mustafa has already won three singles and doubles and is emerging as a fierce competitor for even U-14 players after winning the runner-up title in an AITA U-14 event.
Mustafa’s moment of fame came when he won AITA U-12 doubles Super Series held at Guwahati, Assam in July 2017. Besides, he has won a grand double in Bengaluru by winning both singles and doubles title at the AITA Championship Series U-12 Tournament last month.
The young ace is one of few kids from across the world to be selected by Rick Macci Tennis Academy, where he will be part of a month-long training.