Vishnu, Jeevan return to Fenesta Nationals

The two doubles specialists, who had won three singles titles between them in the national hard court championship in 2012, 2014 and 2016, will be playing doubles as a team.

Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan at a practice session.   -  FILE PHOTO/V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

 

Champions of the past editions, who have now graduated to the Grand Slam standard, Vishnu Vardhan and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, have opted to compete in the 25th anniversary edition of the Fenesta National tennis championship.

The two doubles specialists, who had won three singles titles between them in the national hard court championship in 2012, 2014 and 2016, will be playing doubles as a team in the national championship.

With no wild cards available, owing to the weird rule of the national federation, Vishnu has been compelled to compete in the singles qualifying event.

In the past, Sunil Kumar in 1999 and Sriram Balaji in 2015 had won the title, starting from the qualification stage.

Thus, with the national championship set to start on Monday, Vishnu will be in action from Saturday in the qualifying event.

Vishnu Vardhan.   -  FILE PHOTO/ S. MAHINSA

 

“It gives me immense joy to be part of the 25th edition of the Fenesta Open. This event is very special for me personally as I have played the nationals from my junior days to winning two national titles,” said Vishnu, who has won Asian Games mixed doubles silver with Sania Mirza and had competed in the London Olympics with Leander Paes.

Vishnu also recalled that he had played the qualifying event of the men’s section about 15 years ago, and stressed that it had given a good start to his career.

“I will also be playing doubles with Jeevan in the main draw. I am really looking forward to playing in both the categories,” said Vishnu.

There will be a bunch of other quality players, including the former national champions VM Ranjeet, Dalwinder Singh, Mohit Mayur and Prerna Bhambri, in the men’s and women’s events which offer an equal winner’s purse of Rs 300,000.

The runners-up in the men’s and women’s events will get Rs 200,000 each.

In what is perhaps the strongest bond in Indian tennis, DCM Shriram group has supported the game in the country, through this event in different forms from 1992. When it was held in a major scale in 1993, the surprise champion Syed Fazaluddin, son of former Indian football coach Syed Naeemuddin, went on to play Davis Cup for the country.