The Indian Tennis Players Association (ITPA) was formed last year in Bangalore with the objective of helping talented youngsters get the necessary resources and become top professionals, who can take on the best in the world.

ITPA president and former India Davis Cupper Jaideep Mukherjea and secretary Karti P. Chidambaram spoke to the media on the sidelines of the Chennai Open on Friday about the association’s raison d’etre and its plans for the future.

ITPA’s priority

Our priority is the pro-Tour. We want to provide scholarships for young players and organise competitions.

At the moment, our plans are nebulous. Maybe, we will organise fund-raisers.

Conflict with AITA

In AITA’s books, we don’t exist. Then where is the conflict? We are ready to give suggestions (to AITA).

Ours is a body of tennis players working for the welfare of the players. In ITPA, we have a core of top players.

We are happy that Sania Mirza and Leander Paes are playing the role of mentors.

ITPA programmes

Our programmes have been encouraging so far. We are organising coaching camps and planning four fund-raising events this year.

We are also arranging a physio/coach for Indian players on the tour — Futures or Challengers.

On failure of the system

There are a lot of things that can be right in India. Players need to be looked after.

We produce good junior players, but very few come through the system. (Rather) they come by accident.

I wish there are 20 Ramkumars (Ramkumar Ramanathan), but we need funds. Arjuna Khade (from Maharashtra) was a standout.

We are losing players like him to American colleges.

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