Tennis is one of the most popular sports in India, with players of all ages actively participating. Since the All-India Tennis Association (AITA) was established as the regulatory organisation for tennis in India, the sport's popularity has steadily increased. AITA now organises a number of tennis events in India, which contribute significantly to the development of new tennis players in the country. Things have changed from the days when national and state tennis governing bodies were the only entities concerned with the sport's development. Tennis tournaments in India are not only sponsored but also organised by various corporations. Today, we bring you complete information on all of India's major tennis tournaments, which have assisted in the discovery of several hidden gems of Indian tennis.
The Chennai Open, South Asia's sole Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournament, has been held in Chennai during the first week of January every year since 1997. The tournament was previously known as the Gold Flake Open and the TATA Open, after its primary sponsors. When the three-year partnership with Tata expired in 2004, the risk of Chennai losing the right to host the event due to a lack of a headline sponsor loomed large.
Tennis stars such as Stanislas Wawrinka, Carlos Moya, Marcos Baghdatis, and Rafael Nadal have competed at India's sole ATP event. Due to legal issues, the tournament was relocated to Pune in 2017 and will remain there for the foreseeable future.
O One recurring theme in press reports is that the event is owned by IMG and organised by IMG-Reliance (they are the same people who are responsible for ISL, and for managing domestic Indian football till 2025). Due to a disagreement between IMG Reliance and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association, the location was changed, followed by a new agreement with the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.
International Premier Tennis League
This is yet another competition whose future is uncertain. However, it did appear to represent the future of tennis at one point. The International Premier Tennis League debuted in 2014, and it featured a shorter format, spectators, and franchisees, similar to its namesake, the Indian Premier League. The games were also held in other countries, with arenas in India, Japan, Singapore, and Manila among the venues.
The franchises were the Indian Aces, Japan Warriors, Manila Mavericks (only played in 2014 and 2015), UAE Royals, and Singapore Slammers. The second edition's star-studded second edition saw Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal battle it out in Delhi, attracting spectators from all over the country. Ana Ivanovic, the former world number one, and Eugenie Bouchard, the former world number five, both competed in front of Indian fans.
Since its inception in 2014, the Delhi Open (or Delhi ATP Challenger) has been held three times. The event in 2017 did not take place. The New Delhi Challenger, which ran from 1999 to 2008, served as a model (in a sense).
The tournament is part of the ATP Challenger Tour, also known as tennis' second circuit. On the above-mentioned significance scale, the ATP Challenger Tour trails (or falls short of) the ATP World Tour 250 Series.
The Indian National Tennis Championships have received a lot of negative attention. For one thing, despite the AITA's efforts, India's top tennis players do not compete in the Nationals. The Fenesta Open National Championship, also known as the Fenesta Open, is hosted by the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association. It applies to both men and women, as well as boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 16, as well as boys and girls under the age of 18. In 2017 Under 18 Championships, some unexpected upsets occurred. The Ramesh Desai Memorial Sub-Junior Nationals are held separately for the Sub-Junior divisions. According to reports, the MSLTA organizes this event for Under-16 and Under-12 levels, and it is already in its 12th iteration as of May 2018.
There is no shortage of developing talent in India; as we write this, Ramkumar Ramanathan is making his ATP semifinal debut at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, USA. Ankita Raina won her second ITF championship of the year in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Meanwhile, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won his third ATP Challenger tour doubles tournament and is a contender for India's doubles title. The TOI suggests five female tennis players to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, Saketh Myneni is secretly aiming to match, if not surpass, his all-time best of Rank 137.