HELLO! PAKISTAN Courting Success An Exclusive Interview with Meheq Khokhar, Pakistan's Undefeated Tennis Prodigy of 2023

HELLO! PAKISTAN Courting Success An Exclusive Interview with Meheq Khokhar, Pakistan's Undefeated Tennis Prodigy of 2023

1. What key factors contributed to your evolution from being one of the best female tennis players in Pakistan to becoming the undefeated national champion in 2023?

Answer: (Note) not undefeated but undefeated nationally from the start of the matches in February 2023 till December 2023. I think I’d definitely give credit to my fighting spirit. That’s been the key behind me winning matches even if I’m down or the match has gotten super close. Win or lose for me I would tell myself that what’s important is I fought and gave 100% in the match and that even if I had to collapse on the court I would. You win some you lose some, and in tennis you will miss quite a lot of shots, it’s a game that teaches you nothing is perfect but we can still focus on the positives in it and come out on top. Just like we do in life. The lessons you learn in a tennis match are the lessons you can carry on towards life. It’s like the analogy of the glass being half full. And I think my mental strength was better this year and most importantly I truly know none of this would be possible without God so I really am grateful to him for this! I think resilience and facing your fears are some of the best ways to grow and that’s what we should want to grow it life in different aspects within ourselves. 

2. Can you share insights into your training and preparation routine that helped you achieve an undefeated streak in national tournaments?

Answer: In tennis it’s not just 1 match and 1 win it’s continuous matches through the week in order to win a tournament and you have to keep winning. You lose 1 match and you’re out. I’m a true believer that recovery is super important, just as important as training so you can feel physically and mentally fresh and give your 100% the next day. I made sure I would warm up before and stretch properly after and then I’d also get massages quite often during the matches and tournament. Most importantly, I listened to my body and worked out what it needed according to that. And I focused on myself while playing, not caring about any noise or negativity coming from the outside. 

3. How do you maintain mental strength and focus during high-pressure matches, especially given your record of 15-0 matches?

Answer:The pressure can honestly be a lot especially in Pakistan or playing for Pakistan that it can become extremely stressful to play a match which can kind of take the joy out of it but we must remember that we’re playing to enjoy it, just like the journey of life which we should enjoy and not focus on a destination which is never really there. If one wants to grow and over come something, you have to face your fears. Once you accept that, the narrative in the mind can become lighter. And obviously this can only come with practice but I practice staying in the moment. I think the desire to win and play plays a huge role too. I remind myself that I’m privileged to be here and not to take it for granted. 

4. Who are your role models or inspirations in the world of tennis, and how have they influenced your playing style and career?

Answer: I think Nadal and Serena Williams. I love many other players too like of course Roger Federer and Andy Murray and hugely respect Djokovic he’s an amazing and what he’s still achieving. But I’d say Nadal and Serena Williams because I like their feisty attitude on the court which I think I have. And Nadal more so because even though he’s a fighter on the court, he’s just as humble off of the court and super down to earth and nice to everyone. That’s inspiring since I think that one should definitely be confident within and own their success, but never arrogant which usually stems from insecurity. Being humble is super important, never forget that all of us at one time were nothing and came from nothing. Even if you’re from a privileged background, that’s what your parents or your ancestors have achieved. Not you solely. So remember where you’ve come from. 

5. After achieving national success, what are your next goals in your tennis career? Are you aiming for international tournaments or Olympic participation?

Answer: (Olympic participating in tennis is complicated so I think it would be better to take that out of the question) (I would explain but it’s lengthy

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