MUMBAI, May 16, 2020 (Tata Open Maharashtra Press Release)
With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the sporting world and causing mass cancellations and postponements of the tournaments, Tata Open Maharashtra may also be impacted when the new calendar is invoked.
Tournament Director Prashant Sutar said the world men’s tennis body, ATP, has been having frequent discussions with its tournament directors around the world in an attempt to get the action back on the courts. “Regarding the 2021 calendar, there have been a lot of discussions that are going on. Lot of communications are happening between ATP and Tournament Directors,” Sutar said during a chat with Indian tennis player Arjun Kadhe on Indian Tennis Daily Instagram live session.
With the strong backing of the Government of Maharashtra and sponsor, Tatas, Sutar is confident of organising the fourth edition of South Asia’s only ATP Tour event but feels the tournament may have to shift considering dates of Laver Cup, ATP Cup and Australian Open which overlap with Tata Open Maharashtra. The Tournament Director further added that they have to wait for the first draft of the ATP calendar, which will be out in August, to get further clarity on the dates.
Sutar, who also initiated Maha Tennis Foundation’s initiative-Poonavala Tennis Academy, taking the cue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘vocal for local’, said we need to have more challengers and domestic tournaments to nurture local talent. “Like our PM Modi said ‘vocal for local’, we need to have our own All Indian Tennis Association circuit. We need to have challengers and more domestic tournaments so that our players are ready to face international competition.”
Meanwhile, tournament’s familiar name and local star Kadhe rated Rohan Bopanna and Benoit Paire as the best double partners. The 26-year-old Kadhe also suggested a pre-season for players a couple of weeks before the tournament.
Tata Open Maharashtra, which is one of the most prestigious events in the Indian sporting history has seen the world’s top tennis stars, including Leander Paes, Kevin Anderson, Ivo Karlovic and Benoit Paire taking part during its past editions.