Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association has launched a Rs 7.50 lakh inter-city club level tennis tournament to be held in the mornings during the Aircel ATP Chennai Open here from January 3 next year.
The inaugural inter-city club tournament in doubles event sponsored by Sanmar Group has attracted many former Indian davis cup stars including S P Misra and Mustafa Ghouse and national champions like Sandeep Kirtane, Ram Kumar Ramanathan, K G Ramesh and Mohit Mayur.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association President M A Alagappan said they would make all efforts to make this an annual event.
“Tennis at club level has been famous amongst the past international stars and others but no tournament per say was existent. A constructive and strong league tournament for clubs in Chennai has been going on without break for 70 years and a regular league was also in place in and around Coimbatore cities. This was non-existence in other cities in the country so far,” he said.
Speaking at the meeting, N Sankar, Chairman Sanmar Group, said as sponsors they have been patronising the league tournaments in Chennai for the last 18 years.
“We will only be too glad to make it an all India affair,” he said.
“Initiatives like this will surely keep up the spirit amongst the tennis players, who are actively indulging in club activities and it will also develop fellowship. I am sure a lot of youngsters would be taking to the game when this tournament is in place for clubs through neck and corner of the country,” Sankar said.
Meanwhile, C B N Reddy, Secretary TNTA said that 12 teams with eight players each have confirmed participation in the league-cum-knock tournament.
Teams would be divided into four groups and top finishers in each group would figure in the semi-finals and the winners clash in the final.
The winners would be richer by Rs. 50,000 and the runner-up Rs 25,000.
He said the TNTA had invited 15 different clubs in Indian cities. S P Misra would be representing Secunderabad Club and Ghouse Bombay Gymkhana.