At the fag end of the season when most of the tennis players opting to rest and recoup, the Asian Games doubles gold medallist Sanam Singh may have to play in two different tournaments the same day.
The 25-year-old from Chandigarh has been seeded No.2 in the $90,000 Toyota Asian tennis championship in Bangkok, even as he is busy competing in the $15,000 ITF men’s Futures tournament in the same city of Thailand.
Interestingly, the 319th ranked Sanam, seeded seventh beat Yuichi Ito of Japan 6-2, 7-5 in the first round of the ITF event and was scheduled to play his pre-quarterfinals against qualifier Kaichi Uchida of Japan on Wednesday.
The Asian championship has been scheduled from November 27 to December 1, which means that the first round of the singles has to be played on Wednesday.
Will it mean Sanam has to play two matches in two different tournaments on the same day?
Or will the organisers of the Asian championship give him a Thursday start, hoping that he loses the second round in the ITF event!
Or will the organisers of the Asian event ask the lowest ranked Thai, the 1917th ranked Phassawit Burapharitta to give a walkover in the first round to the second seeded Indian?
In any case, there are 13 Thais in the men’s draw of the Asian championship, even though Thailand has only 11 ranked players on the ATP computer.
Olympian Vishnu Vardhan was the other main Indian entry in the Asian championship and has been seeded fourth. Asian Youth Games medallist Garvit Batra was the third Indian men’s entry, while Sharmada Balu was the only Indian entry in the women’s section.
In fact, the major attraction, in the form of the Australian Open wild card for the winner of the Asian championship had also been discontinued some time back, thus robbing the added charm of the Asian event.
No wonder Sanam has been forced to play a dual role!