A new initiative to empower a select group of Indian men’s doubles tennis players with necessary support during tournaments on the ATP Tour was announced in Pune on Tuesday.
‘Doubles Dream of India,’ the brainchild of the Pune Metropolitan District Tennis Association (PMDTA), is a programme that aims to provide a support system including travelling coaches and physios for Indians who are in the ATP Top 200 Doubles Rankings.
Rohan Bopanna, India’s top-ranked men’s doubles player, has been roped in as a mentor for the initiative, which currently is benefitting players such as Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Yuki Bhambri, N. Sriram Balaji, Divij Sharan, Arjun Kadhe, Purav Raja and Anirudh Chandrasekar.
A pilot project to help such players on the ATP Challenger Circuit was started in April last year, and the full-fledged programme has been announced after receiving feedback from them.
World No. 19 Bopanna mentioned a pre-season camp conducted as a short-term training programme in Dubai from December 12-23 for these players and two foreigners. “The camp was headed by Doubles specialist coach Jeff Coetzee from South Africa, who has also coached former World No. 1 Colombian pair of Juan Cabal and Robert Farah for almost six years. We also had our assistant coach M. Balachandran and a team of three physios from India,” he said.
A similar programme for women’s players along with the addition of mental health coaches and data analysts will follow soon.
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