Courting success | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 05, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:02 AM, March 05, 2021

YOUNG ACHIEVER

Courting success

Mashfia Afrin started playing tennis from the age of four. Her father being the administrative officer of Bangladesh Tennis Federation, Mashfia got to visit the court regularly. She participated in more than 40 national tournaments and more than 12 international tournaments.

A student from Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, she is set to sit for her SSC exams this year. "I never had trouble balancing my studies and tennis," explains Mashfia. "Sometimes, I have to participate in tournaments all day and study at night for an exam tomorrow, but that does not bother me. Time management is one of my best traits, I would say." Her family and friends have always been supportive of her playing tennis.

Her first participation in competitive tennis came with the Engineer Jabbar Memorial Tennis Tournament, hosted by Bangladesh Tennis Federation. She might have missed her first win, but her training started off.

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Mashfia feels that female players in Bangladesh have to face different setbacks, in terms of a lack of sponsors and security.

In inter school tennis championships from 2011 to 2015, Mashfia bagged five championship awards in singles and duets. She won the best duet at the Asian Under 14 Series 2018, alongside Sajida Raji. She played in the semifinals in the singles game that time.

She took part in the ITF Asian Under-14 Development Championships 2019, which was approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). She took a place in the quarter finals at the championship. Although she did not get any award there, the coach was satisfied with everyone's performance.

After returning to Bangladesh, everyone was surprised to see the international results. Mashfia's name rose to 30th in the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) Junior Tennis Tour Rankings for girls under 14 on the week of January 28, 2019. According to the Bangladesh Tennis Federation, it was the highest rank for any Bangladeshi girl in the last few years. "It was my dream to be among the top 50 in the ATF Rankings. I was really happy. Now, I am trying to be in the ITF's World Tennis Tour Junior Rankings for girls under 18, as in the last few years, no Bangladeshi girl has had a ranking in it," concludes Mashfia.

 

The author is a freelance journalist. Write to her at labibakabir99@gmail.com.

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