December 23, 2017
The shifting of the Chennai Open to Maharashtra will not affect the sport among personnel here, say top Indian players here for an exhibition match.
According to sources, the shifting was owing to lack of government funds and corporate sponsorship for Chennai Open. It is the first of the series played as part of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour 250 series and will be held in Pune in the name of Maharashtra Open in January.
Sriram Balaji, the first player from Coimbatore and currently member of Indian Davis Cup team said the shifting of this tournament woould not create much impact among players.
But international players getting to play in Chennai would have had a climate similar to Australia and a warmup match before the Australian Open. But in Maharashtra, the temperature will be moderate, he added.
He said it may lessen chances for Tamil Nadu players to get a wild card entry. Elango Ranganathan, Director of Perks Sports Academy and former tennis champion, said many sponsors were not coming forward to support this event in Chennai. But in Maharashtra, the scene was different.
Saketh Myneni, Gold Medal winner in Incheon Asian Games in 2014 and Arjuna Award winner in 2017, said lack of proper sports system was the main reason for India not having singles players.
He said parents mostly made their wards focus on the education rather than sports. When children showed consistency in sports, parents would come and force them to focus on studies. However, the scene was changing now.
Lack of proper infrastructure was another reason for the performance lagging among the individuals. In China, there are at least 10 courts for tennis
Other players like Vishnu Vardhan (who represented Indian men’s doubles with Leander Paes in London Olympics), Ramkumar Ramanathan, Vijay Prashanth and Prajnesh Gunneswaran were also in the city for the exhibition match.
The Perks Sports Academy launched an exhibition tennis match and 10 days training involving top Indian players.