Delhi, India: Four of India’s best young tennis players will head to Wimbledon to play on the world famous grass courts this August as part of a major new initiative aimed at boosting the development of junior tennis in the country.
Earlier this year the Wimbledon Foundation, The Championships, Wimbledon, and official partner HSBC teamed up with the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to bring The Road to Wimbledon to India for the first time.
The Road to Wimbledon, India is designed to give Indian players aged 14 and under the opportunity to improve their game and, following a series of qualifying events involving more than 200 children, two boys, winner Adil Kalyanpur from Bangalore and runner-up Siddhant Banthia from Pune, plus two girls, winner Shivani S Ingle from Pune and runner-up Aarja Chakraborty from Noida, have booked their dream ticket to London in August.
This weekend’s final at the RK Khanna Tennis Complex in Delhi followed qualifying tournaments in Delhi and Mumbai in India plus a series of coaching clinics hosted by former Great Britain No.1 Tim Henman and Wimbledon Head Coach Dan Bloxham.
The four youngsters will now take their place alongside the best junior players from the UK in a 64 strong field at the UK HSBC National Finals at Wimbledon on August 11-16. The tournament is the centrepiece of a ten-day stay in London.
Adil Kalyanpur, said “I worked hard for this competition and I think I deserved it. Now I am looking forward for more such tournaments."
Shivani S Ingle, said “Feels good. It’s a dream come true. I am glad to be blessed with an opportunity to represent India on an international level."
Philip Brook, Chairman of the All England Club, said: “Indian tennis players have a great history at The Championships and, through the work of the Road to Wimbledon, India, we hope India’s junior tennis players will be similarly inspired to emulate their illustrious forebears. We look forward to welcoming the four players to the lawns of the All England Club at our UK National Finals in August.”
Anil Khanna, President of the AITA, said: “This is a world class opportunity for four of our best young players and I hope it’s one they grab with both hands – this is the start of a long term partnership with Wimbledon and HSBC and we wish our players all the best when they compete in August.”
HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship & Events Giles Morgan said: “Wimbledon is a truly unique event and, as with many of our flagship events, our long term ambition is to support the next generation of talent through our sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes.
“It promises to be a great experience for the four players and hopefully the start of something special for them. As a global banking and financial services organisation, we open up a world of opportunities for people and the expansion to India is the perfect way to start the latest chapter in The Road to Wimbledon story.”