Siddhant Banthia pulls out of French Open wild card event

The country’s best ranked junior in the boys section, the 79th ranked Siddhant Banthia has pulled out of the Rendezvous Roland Garros, French Open junior wild card event to be staged in Paris.

Siddhant Banthia was injured during the third ITF junior tournament he was competing in Casablanca, Morocco, last week.   -  R. Ragu

The country’s best ranked junior in the boys section, the 79th ranked Siddhant Banthia has pulled out of the Rendezvous Roland Garros, French Open junior wild card event to be staged in Paris.

The 16-year-old Banthia was injured during the third ITF junior tournament he was competing in Casablanca, Morocco, last week. He had to give a walkover in the second round of a Grade 4 tournament. He had earlier won the doubles title with Dhruv Sunish in a Grade 3 tournament.

The 350th ranked Abhimanyu Vannem Reddy, who had finished runner-up to Banthia in the Rendezvous Roland Garros Masters event will be the replacement and has managed to go through the visa formalities at short notice.

The disappointment apart, Banthia will be supported as part of the junior Grand Slam team for Wimbledon by the All India Tennis Association (AITA).

The AITA has selected three players, with Mahak Jain and Mihika Yadav as the other two, ranked 42nd and 73 among the girls respectively, to travel for a Grade 1 tournament in Britain followed by the Wimbledon junior tournament.

Arati Ponnappa Natekar, who was the coach of the Junior Fed Cup team earlier this season, will be the coach of the squad. The country’s best ranked junior, the 19th ranked Zeel Desai was also offered a chance to be part of the team, but she had reportedly opted to follow her own plans and travel with her coach Todd Clark, who had helped her reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

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