Every crisis can be turned into an opportunity to get better and grow. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan certainly believes so.
Forced into a holiday at his family resort in Puducherry, spread over 30 acres, the 31-year-old Jeevan, who was ranked a career best 64 in doubles last year around this time, has been thinking about helping Indian tennis recover life and realise its potential.
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Even as he toys with the idea of having a tennis centre at the resort and host tournaments, Jeevan firmly believes that the best way forward, once life gets back to normal from the coronavirus pandemic, would be for the leading players to collaborate with the national federation to make concrete contributions for the revival of the game.
“I personally don’t see the global tour like the ATP giving a green light for the next many months. I think the players and the All India Tennis Association (AITA) need to work together in times like this,” observed Jeevan, who will be staying back at the resort for the next few weeks, irrespective of the decision of the government about the lockdown.
Jeevan felt that it was necessary to get the tennis fraternity into confidence while trying to make a fresh start for the game. “If I am the leader, I would speak to the top players from all categories, men, women and the junior boys and girls, with their parents, to figure out what is missing in Indian tennis and what is required, going forward,” said Jeevan. He is quite clear that rather than finding fault with the system, the players need to be proactive and mobilise support for the game.
Once clarity is achieved about the ideas that need to be implemented, Jeevan suggests that a “player council” can work with the AITA to infuse life into the action plan.
Jeevan sounded confident that players of the calibre of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna have the ability to collaborate with the national federation and various stakeholders to take the game forward.
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“We have to figure out a national tour. We need to provide clarity for a 15-year-old to progress and become the next Yuki Bhambri or Sumit Nagal. To me, this pandemic has brought out the point that the players are needed more than ever to take Indian tennis forward,” said Jeevan.
The left-hander who discussed with coach M. Balachandran for more than two hours on instagram about his career and various aspects of the game for the benefit of the tennis fraternity, was categorical that “conversation sparks good ideas”.