Chennai-based V Chennai Warriors, co-owned by actor-director-choreographer Prabhu Deva, will kick-start their Champions Tennis League (CTL) 2015 campaign tomorrow, when they take on the Hyderabad Aces at the SDAT Stadium in Chennai. The six team tournament, featuring some of the major cities in the country, started on Sunday at Mumbai, with the away team Punjab Marshalls notching the first win.
The Warriors, boosted with likes of Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, German Rainer Schüttler, Briton Heather Watson and Indian Vishnu Vardhan in their ranks, will be wary of the team from Hyderabad team. Former world number one Martina Hingis, Ivo Karlovic and Thomas Johansson are all expected to don the Hyderabad Jerseys tomorrow.
A New Experience: Watson
Chennai star Heather Watson told Sportstar that it took the organisers no effort to convince her to join the league.
“They offered me a chance and I didn’t think twice. It’s a great opportunity to experience the country. I have been here before, but this time I will be looking to enjoy the culture a little more. Moreover, it’s a great chance to get back into shape and be fit for the next year.”
Verdasco echoed the ideas and explained how the CTL was a great opportunity to stay fit and prepare for the season.
“We have a very long season, from January to November. And then it is back to pre-season after a break of 1-2 weeks. I spoke to Mark Philippoussis (who played for Hyderabad Aces last season) and Feliciano Lopez, both had only nice things about the league,” said the former Davis Cup winner.
A Better Future
Chennai has a rich history of tennis, having its own ATP World Tour 250 series, the Chennai Open. The owners said in an event in the city today, that they will be looking to promote a tennis culture in the city by opening more courts and having more tournaments.
“We will be looking to promote the game throughout the year and have already initiated activities in many clubs in the region,” said team co-owner Dr. Ishari K Ganesh.
Actor-director Prabhu Deva, added that he was excited to be part of the franchise and hoped Tennis will get some much needed attention like cricket.
“I am more excited than the players I think. Our country loves cricket and hollywood, so I want to help promote tennis in some way or the other.”
The tennis attention will shift to Chennai tomorrow, when the Warriors face-off against the Aces. British no. two Heather Watson cannot wait for the contest to begin.
“It will be great facing off against Martina (Hingis) tomorrow. She is definitely more fit than me at the moment but it will be a great experience and a good preparation for the up-coming season, as I bid to improve my rankings.”
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