French Tennis Federation & All India Tennis Association announce third Indian edition of Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines
Two qualifiers integrated into the National Series calendar and followed by a Masters in Delhi for the Top 16 boys and girls
The French Tennis Federation (FFT), organizers of the world’s premier clay court event – Roland-Garros (aka The French Open), in association with All India Tennis Association (AITA) today announced the much awaited third Indian edition of Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines. Returning for the third consecutive year, the tournament is aimed at promoting young talents and clay-court tennis in India.
With a promise of growing their commitment to nurture talent in India, this edition will have a lot more depth and reach in terms of geographies as well as being well integrated into the AITA calendar.
Prior to the Masters taking place in New Delhi in April 2017; the tournament will now witness a qualifier round in the month of March to be played in Pune and Kolkata. These qualifiers are integrated into the AITA calendar and will count towards the participants AITA ranking points basis performance.
Apart from this, the qualifiers will also witness the presence of French coaches from Roland Garros to train participants as well as hold clinics for the local budding talent and tennis enthusiasts.
The main draw will consist 64 boys and 48 girls. Based on the results, the top sixteen boys and girls will qualify for the Masters event in New Delhi to be held on . The winners of the Indian leg will go on to face the winners from Brazil, South Korea, China, Japan & the United States in the playoffs in Paris and the eventual champions will get a wild card entry to the French Open Junior.
“We have made a long-term and solemn commitment to nurture and encourage talent from India. Last year we worked closely with AITA and created new clay courts. This year we have added another dimension with the inclusion of the qualifiers in Kolkata and Pune allowing for more players to vie for this golden opportunity,” said Mr. Sam Primaut, FFT, Director of Development.
Welcoming this years’ edition of the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros, AITA president Mrs. Praveen Mahajan said, “AITA is committed to it’s partnership with the FFT and we are extremely happy to see the progress of this initiative growing each year since the past three years.
“The opportunity that the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros provides is excellent and we want to encourage more talent to participate, hence the decision to add a qualifiers leg and integrate it into our calendar and ranking points. We want to use this measure to increase the talent pool and scout for the best to represent us at the finals in Paris.”
Mr. Anil Khanna, President- Asian Tennis Federation said, “It is heartening to see the association between AITA & FFT for junior development programs over the years in India and I look forward to spread the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines event in other Asian nations as well”.
A much-anticipated aspect of the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros is the global legends they bring to India. Last year we had Marion Bartoli with us who really encouraged and inspired the participants and fans alike.
This year we have none other than the legendary and three time Roland Garros winner Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario visiting India for the finals in April. Speaking on her upcoming visit, Arantxa said, “I am extremely excited to be part of the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines. Such initiatives help us grow the talent map for tennis across the world and I am very impressed with the Indian talent I am seeing today in the global circuit.
“I have always felt that learning tennis on clay builds a very strong foundation for young talent. Having global partners like Longines really helps such tournaments to grow and nurture grass roots level talent.”
Further speaking on the occasion, Mr. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing said, “We believe in the vision that the Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines has for India. There is a lot of talent that if recognised and given the right platform can do wonders.
“At Longines we have a rich history of partnering with international sports federations such as the French Tennis Federation and honouring high performance. We look forward to the success of the third edition of Rendez-Vous à Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines in India.”