In India, Tennis can surely be considered among the most popular sports. We can see this from the fact that players of all age groups participate in it. In the past, the sport was regulated by National and State bodies which was not so fruitful.
Since the formation of All India Tennis Association, there has been some major development which has helped in grooming of fresh talents. The game has also gained popularity since then. We are going to look after six major tennis tournaments which have helped in the development of Tennis in India.
Top 6 major Tennis tournaments of India:
1) Chennai Open (rebranded as Maharashtra Open)
Chennai Open is the only ATP tournament of South Asia. It was started in 1997 and has continued ever since then. It takes place in Chennai in the first week of the year. This tournament was named as Gold Flake Open (1997–2001), Tata Open (2002-2004) after their main sponsors.
Famous Tennis players like Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moyá, Marcos Baghdatis, Stan Wawrinka have previously featured in this tournament. In 2017, it was relocated to Pune after some disputes. It is going to stay there in the near future as well.
The tournament keeps popping up in the news as the owners IMG-Reliance are the same company who are responsible for India’s domestic football league ISL.
The location was changed after disputes between the tournament owners and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association. After which Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association made the arrangements in Pune.
International Premier Tennis League was once regarded as the future of Indian tennis, but at present its future is questionable. The competition started in 2014 with a short format and franchises. The matches took place not only in India but also in Japan, Singapore & Manila.
The franchises were Indian Aces, Japan Warriors, Philippine Mavericks, UAE Royals and Singapore Slammers. The second edition had a big match when Roger Federer faced Rafael Nadal in Delhi, which gained a lot of attention.
The tournament has always been in the news for its finances. It was even called off in 2017. It’s rumored that only one nation will be participating in this tournament.
3) Delhi Open
Delhi Open was first held in the year 2014. Till date it has been held only three times. At present, it is the part of ATP Challenger Tour and the ITF Women’s Circuit. This tournament comes just after the ATP World Tour 250 tournaments in importance.
4) Fenesta Open National Championship
The Indian National tennis championship is also known as Fenesta Open National Championship. It has always been on the news for wrong reasons as the top Indian tennis players don’t play in this tournament.
Delhi Lawn Tennis Association organizes this tournament which covers both men and women. It is also for the boys and girls in the age groups of 14, 16 ,18.
Many talented tennis players have emerged from here. Ramkumar Ramanathan is among those players who entered his ATP semi-finals in 2018 at the Hall of Fame Open grasscourt tournament in Newport. Moreover Saketh Myneni is also trying to exceed his best rank of 137.
5) KPIT MSLTA Challenger
KPIT MSLTA Challenger is also an ATP Challenger Tour that takes place in India. This tournament made its debut in the year 2014. MSLTA organizes the event which takes place in the months of October and November. At present it is India’s only ATP Challenger Tour.
6) WTA Sunfeast Open (2005-2007)
India had to wait for a long time for a WTA Tennis Event. The Indian Tobacco Company in the year 2005 hosted the tournament and named it the Sunfeast Open.
It was India’s only indoor tennis event and was hosted in Netaji Indoor Stadium where the pitches came from Europe for this event. It was the time when a young Sania Mirza was emerging. In the same way, the popularity of tennis was also growing .
It is pretty clear that these tennis tournaments are not so popular with Indian audience. But these events for sure have helped in grooming of fresh talents in India.
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