The Moon Baller

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Author: Nirupama Vaidyanathan
Publisher: Konark Publishers Pvt Ltd, New Delhi
(Pp 252, ISBN 9789322008314, Rs 350)

With no sponsors, no professional coach, Nirupama Vaidyanathan ascended to mark the first milestone of Indian woman tennis at Grand Slam level. Her autobiographical account titled The Moon Baller tells an interesting and equally inspiring story by a woman tennis player who started playing the game at the age of seven. She brings back her memoir to chronicle the period when professional woman tennis in the country was almost an unheard story. When she picked up tennis racquet at the tender age nobody but his father was around to uplift her spirit to play the game. And her father who dedicated himself to cricket (a Ranji Trophy player) never showed any biasness while encouraging Nirupama for the tennis.

It was Nirupama’s sheer will power, determination and talent finally led her to land on the Grand Slam courts. She became the first Indian woman tennis player who won a round at a Grand Slam at the Australian Open tournament in 1998. Her recollection of difficulties she faced during the tournament tours across Europe and other continents is considered to be a lesson which she learnt to make herself a stronger person as well as gaining perfect knowledge of the game.

The Moon Baller is a fine-tuned autobiographical narrative which keeps tennis as crux and other aspects that touch upon issues related to society, travel, safety, money and interestingly the scopes of tennis in India. The beauty of this book can be defined to be its relativity to any reader who loves tennis or life’s inspiration from Nirupama’s courage.

– Jyaneswar Laishram

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