After four days of matches in tough conditions, as rain had increased the humidity percentage in the atmosphere, the young tennis players had fruitful sessions apart from undergoing physical fitness assessment on Tuesday at the DLTA Complex here.
‘’We had a very nice awareness session with the expert Dr. Ankush Gupta from National Anti Doping Agency. We had the parents also attending the session, as it is an important subject. It was a very interesting session that went on for an hour’’, said Prashant Menon, who was coordinating the scholarship scheme for the AITA Trust.
Apart from the anti doping awareness session, the players also had the benefit of listening to a diet and nutrition expert from the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
It was indeed a struggle for some of the under-14 kids on Monday to play two matches, in high humidity, and after three earlier days of matches. However, with the assurance that the results would not count as much as the way the players conducted themselves while playing good or worse, there was some scope for the players not to push themselves too hard for a win.
Moreover, with the last two days of kept for the physical fitness assessment by Dharmendra Pratap Singh, affectionately called in the tennis circles as Abhimanu – who has worked with some of the best players like Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri – it was a challenge for the young players to retain their enthusiasm and energy.
Moreover, the matches were played in the best of 13-game format, which effectively meant one set.
It was equally hard on the three members of the selection panel, Balram Singh, Vishaal Uppal and Ankita Bhambri, to keep track of all the players, spread over 11 courts.
There will be a final fitness assessment on Wednesday morning, both on court and in the gym before the final list of eight boys and eight girls are announced.
The first installment of Rs.50,000 is also expected to be presented to the selected players. The players are scheduled to get Rs.100,000 a year, to meet their tennis requirements through the season.