The agony of Indian tennis, the future is not visible in singles
There is not a single Indian player in the Australian Open qualifiers this year. On the other hand, 11 Indian doubles players are in the top 300 and four in the top 100. Two are on the verge of reaching the top 100. Yuki Bhambri, who became the world number one player during his junior days, has also decided to focus on doubles to expand his career.
India does not have a single tennis player in the top 300 in the ATP singles rankings. Not a single player from India got a direct entry into the singles main draw of the Tata Open Maharashtra ATP 250 tournament. None of the three wild card Indians made it past the second round. There is not a single Indian player in the Australian Open qualifiers this year. On the other hand, 11 Indian doubles players are in the top 300 and four in the top 100. Two are on the verge of reaching the top 100. Yuki Bhambri, who became the world number one player during his junior days, has also decided to focus on doubles to expand his career.
That is, the future of singles tennis in India is not visible at all. After the era of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, none of Yuki, Sumit Nagal, Prajnesh, Ramkumar are practicing in India. Most are in different parts of Europe. Nagal is supported by Bhupathi while Ramkumar is being assisted by TNTA in training in Barcelona. Yuki is doing well so no help is needed. Prajnesh is accompanied by his father who is taking care of his every need.
There is one ATP 250 and three to four Challenger tournaments in India and that too is limited to three states. India’s condition in singles tennis is so bad that it seems that India should give up playing singles. There are many reasons to reach this state and the most basic reason is that tennis is an expensive sport. In the North East, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or Punjab, youth do not play tennis, but in the mountains or in the desolate plains, children are seen playing cricket. You can play badminton in the street near the house but not tennis. The starting level racket comes for Rs 4000.
After this the wire has to be changed every week which costs a minimum of Rs.600. The cost of three balls is Rs 400 and in fast play the ball becomes useless after one session. Tennis courts are also not available for free play. Then coaching is also very expensive. After all this, ATP Challenger tournaments are also few and far between in India. Indians have to go to European countries for experience and it is very heavy on the pocket. To overcome this situation, tennis will have to be popularized and All India Tennis Association will have to take initiative to provide tennis courts in schools across the country. Inter-school tournaments will have to be organized in every state. Along with this, domestic ATP challenger circuit will have to be made. Old players have to be taken along.
Disclaimer:Prabhasakshi has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.
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