KSLTA plans new tennis infrastructure

KSLTA hosts the $162,000 ATP Bengaluru Open at its stadium, but infrastructure needs to be ramped up if the aim is to host an ATP 250 level tournament.

Ramkumar Ramanathan and Purav Raja celebrates after beating Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden in the doubles final of the Bengaluru Open 2020 in February.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

To build a tennis stadium of international repute and a high performance centre in the state capital, along with three regional tennis centres, formed the crux of the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association’s (KSLTA) ‘Vision 2030’ roadmap announced on Friday. The Executive Committee of the newly elected body met for the first time here.

The city plays host to the $162,000 ATP Bengaluru Open – South Asia’s biggest Challenger – at its stadium inside the Cubbon Park, but infrastructure needs to be ramped up if the aim is to host an ATP 250 level tournament.

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The need for a strong local circuit that will help nurture young talent and provide them competitive matches has never been clearer than during the COVID-19 pandemic. The roadmap seeks to address this by aiming to build 500 courts across the state, conduct talent hunt programmes and develop infrastructure at all district headquarters and taluks capable enough to hold national and international tournaments.

Skill development programmes to produce competent coaches and trainers are also on the anvil. To implement the roadmap, a slew of sub-committees have been formed, including a Development Committee with Rohan Bopanna at the helm and Coaching Committee headed by Zeeshan Ali. It was also decided that state/national and international tournaments will henceforth be allotted only to registered academies and organisations.

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