History of a kind is being made at the Aircel Chennai Open 2014 — for the first time in the 18-year-old tournament, ball girls are on the courts this year.

Five ball girls have busted the bastion at this essentially male-dominated tennis event. G.S. Vasavi, J. Anandhi, K. Janaki, S. Lavanya and M. Arathi, who practice their tennis at the TNTA tennis courts at Nehru Park, don’t make much of the fact that they are part of tennis history.

Vasavi, who won the Adidas Nationals in the city, and is rooting for Stanislas Wawrinka, was excited to be in the centre court watching the action up close. She said being a ball girl offers a unique perspective, different from watching the match from the gallery.

The organisers had planned to have six ball girls, but one girl fell sick.

Anandhi said they were given training for three weeks on how to pick up the balls and feed them quickly to the players by tennis coach Hiten Joshi. Talking about the job, the ball girls said they found it easer to pick up the balls in the doubles’ than in the single’s matches during which they have to run a lot.

More In: Chennai | News | Tennis | Sport | Sports