Terming Davis Cup, featuring more than 130 countries, as the jewel in the crown of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), All India Tennis Association (AITA) president Anil Khanna said the team competition provided the opportunity for players ranked above 100 to establish themselves in their countries.
He quoted India as an ideal example and commended the team’s depth despite the top four players not being in the squad for the match against New Zealand.
Stating that the courts, coaches and competition were the key to the development of the game in the country, Khanna pleaded with the government to enhance the support for tennis players to about Rs. five crore.
“The government is supporting us and 10 players get about Rs. three crore. We should actually support about 40 to 50 players from the junior level and reward them suitably, based on their progress,” he said at the Punjab Raj Bhavan.
He said that Delhi would host two Challengers for men and women next year and sought government support for conducting more tournaments that would help a wide spectrum of players.
The AITA president commended the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) for successfully holding the ATP Tour event in Chennai for the past 16 years, praised Maharashtra and Karnataka also for conducting many international events like Delhi.
“The government should not treat them as prize-money tournaments because these are developmental tournaments,” Khanna said.