Leander Paes backs youngsters for Tennis Premier League

Leander Paes picked youngsters Niki Poonacha and Aryan Goveas at a price of Rs. 2.25 and Rs. 1.25 lakh for his team Mumbai Leon Army.

Leander Paes,co-owner of Mumbai Leon Army, with other team owners, mentors and administrators at the second Tennis Premier League auction held in Mumbai on Sunday.   -  Special Arrangement

Leander Paes, co-owner of Mumbai Leon Army, along with coach Sukhwant Basra,  backed youngsters Niki Poonacha and Aryan Goveas by picking the two Nationals men category finalists at a price of Rs. 2.25 and Rs. 1.25 lakh respectively at the 2nd Tennis Premier League auction, held at Meluha The Fern, Powai.

Interestingly, Niki downed city teenager Aryan last week in Delhi to be crowned the national champion.

Saketh Myneni (Delhi Binny's Brigade), Somdev Devvarman (Gujarat Panthers), Vishnu Vardhan(Bengaluru Hawks), Jeevan Neduncherhiyan (Punjab Bulls) and Purav Raja (Pune Warriors) all fetched an identical prize of 2.25 lakh.

Ankita Raina (Delhi Binny's Brigade ), Pranjala Yedlapalli (Punjab Bulls), Mahak Jain (Gujarat Panthers) and Rutuja Bhosale (Pune Warriors) fetched a price of Rs 1.5 lakh each at the auction. There was an encouraging response for girls U-18,  boy's U-14 categories.

Eight teams with eight players will fight it out to be crowned champions for the 2nd edition to be held from December 12-15, 2019. Kunal Thakkur, league co-founder, said: “I am very happy that our top Indian players got the maximum bid. I am sure with the help of mentors and owners, we can provide a much bigger platform for tennis players in our country.”