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Chance for Gen-Next to shine at National Hard Court C'ship

01 Oct 2017, 17:30 IST
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New Delhi, Oct 1 (PTI) India's next generation players will have a chance to showcase their skills and talent as the AITA has failed to attract the top players for the National Hard Court Tennis Championships, beginning here tomorrow.

The AITA had posted an advisory on its website that participating in the Nationals is now mandatory to be eligible not only for the financial assistance from the government but also for national selection. However the parent body has very happily exempted the top players.

If AITA, at all, wanted to raise the profile of the event, it should have convinced country's top players to compete at the Nationals.

Tennis is the only sport in the country where the top players do not compete at the Nationals while shooting, wrestling, badminton, boxing and table tennis all feature best in the business.

There is a good incentive for the winners as the eventual champion will get Rs 3 lakh as prize money apart from Rs 5- lakh assistance from the government and a wild card for one international event -- possibly a Challenger.

Many in AITA believe that sacrificing one week on the Pro Tour for the Nationals is not a bad option for the top players, who do not have many sponsors to support them.

Last year's men's singles champion Vishnu Vardhan, who won the men's doubles gold and a silver in the mixed doubles in Asian Indoor and Martial Arts games in Ashgabat last week, has also withdrew from the event.

Now all eyes will be on players such as lanky Tamil Nadu lad Dhakshineswar Suresh, who last year won the Under-16 National championship, Aryan Goveas and Paramveer Singh Bajwa in the men's singles.

Among the women players, last year's winner Riya Bhatia has opted out of the event and Zeel Desai will head the field. Other players to watch out for would be Mihika Yadav, Sai Samhita, Snehadevi S Reddy and Mahak Jain.

"We have been doing it for so many years to support the young players of the country. That is our association for the this event," said one of members of the organising team

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