Fate and champion Angelica Kurera | Sunday Observer

Fate and champion Angelica Kurera

File photo of Angelica Kurera
File photo of Angelica Kurera

Call it fate? Out of the ashes of the Easter Sunday bombings, in Negombo this time, comes another story of miraculous escape. Her time had obviously not yet come, but perhaps it’s because she’s a rising Tennis star whose moment of glory still awaits.

She is 14-year old Angelica Kurera who the Sunday Observer saw winning the final yesterday at the Sri Lanka Women’s Tennis Open with the makings of a champion against her more seasoned opponents. Last year, she won the National Under-14 and Under-16 titles.

Angelica hails from Ave Maria Convent in Negombo and lives a stone’s throw away from the ill-fated Church which was bombed on that terrible day of April 21. Her family normally attends the Sunday morning mass at the church where a jihadist set off the bomb that killed nearly 80 members of the congregation.

As fate would have it, on that particular day Angelica and her father had just stepped off a plane while returning from Nepal where she had played in a tournament.

Within minutes of their arrival the bombs exploded at their church. Angelica has an ATP World Ranking in the 700s and had already won the quarter finals of the Sri Lanka Women’s Open on Wednesday playing against adult women much older than herself. She beat the current Women’s champion, Anika Seneviratne, two weeks ago to lift the Colombo Championship title. Biting off as much as she can possibly chew and perhaps over-extending herself, Anika entered the Under-14, Under-16 and Women’s Open as her ambition is to be the Champ in all age Groups simultaneously. An ambitious young lady in tennis sense, Angelica was spotted by her elderly lady patron (a person now in her 90s who prefers to stay completely out of the limelight) when she was 12 years old.

Sponsoring a potentially international tennis player doesn’t come cheap. At this level, a racquet alone will cost over Rs.40,000, to say nothing of the shoes, socks, outfits and special diet.

If lady luck continues to smile on her, the local tennis scene (if not the international one), is going to hear a lot more about Angelica Kurura very soon. There will be many to wish her the best of luck and hope she does not suffer the same politicized fate as many other female icons.