Tanisha Crasto (in white), then a tiny 11-year-old at the start of her career with the Prime Star Badminton Academy, welcomes Indian sensation PV Sindhu at the Dubai World Trade Centre's Dubai Sports World, in 2014. Image Credit: Courtesy: Clifford Crasto

Dubai: Dubai born-and-bred Tanisha Crasto is looking forward to a winning debut when the Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix gets under way from Thursday at the PE Society’s Modern PDMBA Sports Complex in the Western Indian city of Pune.

Crasto, who has been in recent red-hot form, has teamed up with Aditi Bhatt for her first major international career event. Earlier in August, Crasto and Bhatt had commenced their build-up for this week’s competition in Pune after winning the Junior ranking tournament held in Panchkula, Haryana.

This week, the combination won their second successive doubles crown at the Yonex-Sunrise All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament held in Bangalore to set up a strong build-up for the international event. The girl, whose parents hail from Goa, later teamed up with Ishaan Bhatnagar to claim the mixed-doubles crown as well.

“These are all baby steps towards bigger things awaiting me in my career,” Crasto told Gulf News from Pune.

“Right now, it is about putting aside the nervousness and doing well in such tournaments so that I can draw motivation and self-belief for the future,” she added.

The Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix – the only Grand Prix event to be played in India – will have players from eight countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Uganda, Bangladesh, Nepal and the hosts. Thai junior World No.6 Benyapa Aimsaard and India’s world No.9 Varun Kapur head the girls and boys’ singles categories. With a prize fund of $15,000 (Dhs 48,500), the four-day competition has attracted nearly 250 players.

“This event is all about making the start. I have been training well and preparing for such events with an eye on my future as a badminton player. These are all milestones going ahead as each of these events will have something new and fresh to offer,” Crasto related.

Immediately after the Pune tournament, the 16-year-old will be in the UAE for the Dubai Junior International Badminton Tournament – sanctioned by Badminton Asia and BWF and organized by UAE Badminton - to be held at the NAS Sports Complex from September 11-15. “For me, this tournament will be like a home-coming. Dubai is the place I will never forget. This is the place where my badminton career really started,” she recalled.

After the Dubai tournament, Crasto will start preparing for the next huge hurdle in her career – the BWF World Junior Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia from October 7-13. “This one will be the real deal for me. This is going to be a very, very important tournament for my career,” Crasto admitted.

“And the silver lining could be to go all out and win a medal for India,” she added.