New tennis champ Yasitha sounds a warning to rivals | Sunday Observer

New tennis champ Yasitha sounds a warning to rivals

24 January, 2021
Yasitha de Silva in action during the final
Yasitha de Silva in action during the final

New men’s singles tennis champion Yasitha de Silva has signalled that he is ready to stay on top for quite some time. He emerged as the champion, for the first time, when he beat defending champion Sharmal Dissanayake in the final of the National Tennis Championship played at the SLTA courts last weekend.

“I was the most prepared player at the Nationals this year. I faced Sharmal with confidence as I knew that he was not that fit. I was planning to play long games to get over the champion. The first set went a long way and Sharmal just folded up in the second through injury,” said Yasitha.

“I was coming into this tournament after having trained the whole of last year in Sri Lanka. I could not travel overseas to play in tournaments due to travel restrictions. I actually had planned to travel a lot with the Sri Lanka team to play in tournaments and be exposed to international level.”

Now at 25, Yasitha de Silva has mixed his studies and tennis career very well. He has excelled in studies and obtained a degree from the University of Colombo.

He has also obtained a Masters degree from the University in 2016 and now plans to continue playing tennis full time.

Yasitha took to tennis at the age of six years following in the footsteps of his elder brother at Ananda College. At that time his target was to play for the school team.

Thereafter he took to the game seriously at the age of 14 years and by that time took to training full time under his coach Niranjan Cassie Chetty from 2009 onwards.

He began improving so much that he was selected to the Sri Lanka Junior Davis Cup team in 2011. From that time he began travelling overseas to play in junior tournaments with the national team.

He is now in the Sri Lanka Davis Cup team since 2016 and was in the side that toured Paraguay early last year for the Davis Cup tie. Sri Lanka could not do well as the host team was very strong.

Yasitha is committed to continue playing under his coach Cassie Chetty in Sri Lanka without a break. He has stuck to his coach though some other players believe they are fortunate enough to go into training under foreign coaches on foreign soil.

“I must thank my parents who allowed me to play tennis despite studies. I plan to keep on playing and not give up for quite some time,” vouched Yasitha.

Fortunately, Yasitha found employment a few days ago with a company that encourages their employees to indulge in sports activities.

“Although I am employed now I plan to keep playing tennis and not give up,” said Yasitha.