National tennis federation plans elite training camp

New Delhi #dailynews60 : The national tennis federation has decided to invite country’s top players for a training camp at the DLTA with an aim to provide a platform for their return to competitive action from next year.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has laid out a plan for top-20 elite men’s and women’s players for the camp, which may culminate with a national championship in the singles format among the assembled players in a bio-secure environment.

The 21-day camp will first begin for the men’s players from November 30. It will be followed by a women’s camp from January 4.

The camp will be held under the supervision of India’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali, who will handle the project as Director of High Performance Training Camps (HPTC). He will be responsible for formulating a programme for the camp.

Zeeshan will be assisted by a set of coaches and fitness trainers, dieticians and gym trainers, who will be identified soon.

The focus of the project will be on physical conditioning, providing hitting opportunity with best players, diet plan, nutrition, high-intensity tournament and players’ performance analysis.

“We want our players to be ready for international tournaments as and when they begin. We are also mulling if the last week of the camp can be turned into a national championship since the Fenesta championships had to be cancelled this year due to COVID-19 pandemic,” AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar told PTI.

“We are still discussing it and a decision will be made by tomorrow,” he added.

The AITA will invited both singles and doubles players for the camp but the national championship, if held, will played as a singles event.

The 20 players will be divided into five groups of four. They will compete in round-robin format. The top player in each group will then progress to knockout stage. The winner will get Rs 75,000, the runner-up Rs 50,000 and semifinalists Rs 30,000 each.

The travel and accommodation cost of the players will be borne by the AITA. The players will undergo COVID-19 test before the start of the camp and will have to follow the SOP and guidelines framed by SAI.

It will be interesting to see if country’s top players such as Sumit Nagal, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan accept the invitation.

Nagal has been training in Germany for long and even competed in a few Challengers in the past few weeks. Prajnesh and Ramkumar too have returned to competitive tennis.

“We are hoping participation by top players. If they have their own schedule, that’s fine. If there are no international tournaments at that time, it’s a good platform for them to stay in shape,” he said.

The selection of the players will be based on the AITA ranking in relevant age group. Since the rankings are still frozen, the rankings as on March 16, when the last rankings were released will be taken as basis for selection.

The players have to respond to the invite by November 6.

The AITA has already announced the resumption of domestic tennis tournaments from November 16 with junior events.