Indian American teen Natasha Subhash is taking the tennis world by storm.
At just 14 years old, Subhash, of Fairfax, Va., has earned a spot in the U.S. Open, a grand slam tennis tournament in New York.
Sure, she’s young, but the tennis sensation has been playing the sport for a long time. Her parents enrolled her in classes at the nearby Four Star Tennis Academy when she was just 4 years old, and she has been honing her craft there ever since.
“As soon as I started to compete in tournaments, I knew that this was what I wanted to do,” Subhash told India-West.
It didn’t take long for her natural talent to come through, and she felt confident that she would be a great player.
“I think that once I started to compete in tournaments on a regular basis and started doing well in them, I knew that I could be really good at this,” she said.
In her U-16 age group, Subhash is ranked No. 1 in the Virginia and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as in the United States Tennis Association standings. Nationally, she is ranked No. 5. of all young girls in the world; the International Tennis Federation ranks Subhash 1,118.
In total, Subhash said she has won around 150 trophies, including 10 gold, silver and bronze tennis balls, for her successes at national tournaments. She is a humble winner, too, earning the Sportsmanship Award at the National Hard Court Championships.
Of all her winnings, the Sportsmanship Award was the one that “means so much to me,” she told India-West.
But what makes her successful is her full focus on the opponent. Being favored in every match – which is often the case as the No. 1 seed in most tournaments – doesn’t lead to complacency.
“I usually don't think about that, because I have to focus on what I have to do in the match,” Subhash said. “But, it's always nice to know that you have support when you're playing.”
Like a true competitor, Subhash appreciates past success but is driven to get better each and every day.
“My goals now are to just get better every day and to love what I do,” said the young tennis star, who will be attending Falls Church High School in Falls Church, Va., this fall. “My long-term goal is to see if I can be a professional tennis player.”
Subhash will have her first taste of elite tennis when she heads to the U.S. Open in New York for the qualifying tournament this month. She is not nervous, though, but rather the opposite. “I am very excited for it.”
If professional tennis doesn’t pan out, her plan is to go to college, though she said she wasn’t sure just yet as to which college and what she would study.
Subhash was born in Washington, D.C., to parents who immigrated to the United States from India. When she’s not dominating on the tennis court, she loves to read, listen to music and spend time with her friends. She credits her parents and their roots for making her the person she is today.
“That has shaped me a lot as a person,” Subhash said of her parents being raised in India. “They've taught me all of their values and beliefs, and I couldn't be more thankful.”