City’s young tennis player Mustafa M. Raja showed great grit, determination and courage to clinch the AITA Championship Series Nationals 7 days 12 and Under Tournament held at Practennis, Andheri, Mumbai, under the auspices of AITA and MSLTA. Tournament was held from Feb.5 to 9. This is Mustafa’s 23rd AITA title.
Mustafa was suffering with acute food poisoning after reaching Mumbai for the Tournament but decided to play his first round match on Feb.5. In spite of his condition, he did not give up and fought hard to win the match in the tie breaker. He was admitted to the hospital immediately after.
He came back to play his pre-quarters match the next day and won it 6,0 and 6,0. He went on to win the finals in a close encounter. Mustafa played Hrishikesh Iyer from Maharashtra in the finals and again displayed his fighting qualities to win the title match in a 3 set cliff hanger.
Mustafa lost the first set 1,6 but came back strong to take the second set 6,4. In the final set, Mustafa came back from 0,2 down and won 6 straight games to win the set, match and tournament 1,6; 6,4 and 6,2.
Mustafa studies at Excel Public School and trains at Nagaraj Tennis Centre. He is the son of Murtuza Raja and Farida Raja.
Brief Scores — R 1: 9,8 (7,3); PQ: 6,0 and 6,0; Quarters: 6,0 and 6,4; Semis: 6,3 and 6,1 and Finals: 1,6; 6,4 and 6,2.