Australian Open ball kids mentored by Mahesh Bhupathi

100 kids are vying for 10 berth to be ball kids at Australian Open, with India's current Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi mentoring them.

The selection of ball kids for the Australian Open with Mahesh Bhupathi in Delhi on Saturday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

It was exam time yet again on the tennis court for the 100 ball kids aspiring to win the ten berths for the Australian Open.

Mentored by the multiple Grand Slam champion and the current Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi, the kids went through the drills at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

It may be a simple task of collecting and rolling the balls, apart from handling the towel for the players, but the kids were being tested for their agility and speed on court.

Read: Bhupathi to mentor ball kids for Aus Open

It was also a test of their temperament to be smart and courteous. About 1800 kids from the four Metropolitan cities had been short-listed after initial screening, to 100.

The ten kids selected for the Australian Open, whose expenses would be borne by Kia Motors would be announced in the first week of December.

"Initiatives like this are baby steps towards creating a tennis culture in the country. Next year we may have a 1000 kids in each selection venue. The selected kids will have the chance to be on court with some of the greatest players of the sport, fighting it out’’, said Mahesh.

Two officials from the Australian Open observed the kids to make their final selection for the Grand Slam of the Asia-Pacific.

"We are glad to give these kids an opportunity to realise their dreams and hope that it will help attract more kids to tennis in the country", said Marketing Head of Kia Motors India, Manohar Bhat.

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