A collective body of Indian tennis players, designed to represent the professional interests and concerns of its members, is in the process of being constituted.
The reason for the formation of the Indian Tennis Players Association (ITPA), according to a press release, was because “the existing structure of tennis administration doesn’t represent or adequately address contemporary issues faced by the players in the country”.
Modelled on the functioning of the ATP, which encourages players to make decisions for the benefit of the sport, the ITPA expressed its belief in “the principles of self-governance and consultative dialogue in arriving at key decisions impacting professional tennis in the country”.
The not-for-profit association, being constituted as a Section 25 company, has opened membership to all current and former national and international players through a process of registration.
The founding members of the ITPA include Davis Cuppers Jaidip Mukerjea, Mahesh Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna, Prahlad Srinath and Mustafa Ghouse, AITA vice-president Karti P. Chidambaram, Enrico Piperno, Manisha Malhotra and Aditya Sachdeva.
The release said all members would have equal voting rights and elect a general body responsible for ITPA’s operations. Mukerjea will act as interim president during the ITPA’s formative period until the general council and the general body formally meet.
“We believe that the ITPA will provide the players a voice that will stand united in our concerns and suggestions for the improvement of the sport in the country,” said Devvarman.
Karti Chidambaram said: “The ITPA is the right forum for all the players to come together. Initially, the ITPA will be funded by membership fees. Eventually we will seek support from corporates and private individuals to fund our activities.”