Eleven-time Grand Slam champion Bjorn Borg, and Indian tennis legend and current Tamil Nadu Tennis Association President Vijay Amritraj conducted a tennis clinic at the SDAT Stadium in Nungambakkam on Wednesday.
In town with his wife Patricia and son Leo, who lost in the opening round at the Chennai Open ATP Challenger, Borg spent a good hour and a half with around 30 kids on the outside courts.
Amritraj took charge of the boys on one court with Borg guiding the girls on the adjacent one, watching them play the basic forehands, backhands and volleys while constantly providing feedback on what they could improve in their stance and racquet swing.
Soon, the two legends, who had famous five-set battles at the 1974 US Open and 1979 Wimbledon, asked the kids to play a couple of points amongst each other with the player on the losing end being replaced by the one next in line.
At one point, Satwik, a Class 9 student, hit a forehand shot before rushing to the net to hit a forehand volley. Although the ball landed wide, the 66-year-old Swede great appreciated the youngster’s approach and said, “Good move.”
Later, when asked about the moment, a beaming Satwik replied, “It felt unreal. Probably the best moment of my life.”
Amritraj and Borg also had a brief Q & A session with the kids and their parents.
Borg, winner of six French Opens and five Wimbledons, told the kids that the important thing for them is “to keep playing.”
“You have to practice a lot. You have to spend a lot of time on the tennis court. You have to have motivation. You have to have a big heart for tennis,” he added.
Amritraj mentioned how being a good tennis player could pave the way for better education.
“What you’ll have to see is the light from playing this sport at a high level. [If you’re] Good enough to play college tennis around the world, it will get you the best education. It will also give you a chance to go to the best school,” said the 69-year-old.
At the end of the session, Borg and Amritraj duly obliged for autographs and photographs.
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