Wonderkid Wednesday: Tanya Nanda

At the age of 14, Tanya Nanda is one of the Middle East's brightest tennis prospects. The GEMS Dubai American Academy student is a member of the Tennis 360 academy and has enjoyed a memorable last 18 months on the court.

When asked about her introduction to the sport, Tanya said: "I used to do a lot of swimming until I was 6 years and then suddenly I wanted to get into a land sport. I started playing tennis in 2010, and have now been playing for over 8 years. I have been playing and competing in tennis in the UAE, South Africa, Thailand for the past few years."

In a frantic period of competition, Nanda has achieved no less than eight podium finishes between 2016 and present. Three of those saw her come out on top and clinch gold. Those were the Middle East South Asian Conference (group medal), Wilson Cup 2016 and Bangkok Thailand Tennis Federation Tournament 2017.

When asked what the future holds, she commented: "My goals are to be playing on the ITF circuit by this summer. I also want to keep playing MESAC for my School, and to lead the team to get Gold Medal every year for the next three years (until I reach Grade 12). In the future, I would like to play tennis for the University I attend."

Coach Nuno Cafe was full of praise for the young talent. He said: "Tanya can be defined by her work ethic, determination and is very responsible when it comes to following fitness programs away from her coach. Many players totally focus on tennis as a full-time career at an early age, but it is important to understand that your studies could lead you to a college scholarship and possibly a WTA career and it also makes you into a more versatile person. Tanya is a high achiever and both her studies and tennis, it is a testament to her focus and organisational skills that she can achieve this."

GYS wishes Tanya the best of luck and can't wait to watch her on the court over the years to come.