The three-week men’s $10,000 ITF Futures swing in Tamil Nadu, which in recent years was part of the calendar in late May and early June, has now been postponed.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) allots tournaments if associations agree to host either three $10,000 tournaments or two $15,000 tournaments at a stretch. The SDAT-Nungambakkam Stadium and Gandhinagar Club used to host two of the tournaments with the third being allotted to Coimbatore.
As the Nungambakkam stadium is currently undergoing a state government sanctioned facelift of Rs. 4.5 crore and is expected to be ready only in early August, the three events have now been pushed to a later date.
“We generally apply for tournaments three months in advance,” said C.B.N. Reddy, secretary, Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).
“We approached the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to find an alternative venue for one [of the three]. But, it said it cannot be done this late. So we decided not to apply.
“We can hold them after the stadium is ready in July. But the Indian players will not be available as most of them will be touring. We want the tournaments to benefit our players,” he added.
Reddy also said the TNTA was “committed” to hold them and it might figure in the calendar in October or November.
Reddy sought to dismiss reports that sponsorship, too, was an issue. “It’s not an issue. We have sponsors for the Coimbatore event. Gandhinagar is also not a problem.”
The entire circuit, which is being planned as part of a lead-up to the Aircel Chennai Open, might also see a Challenger tournament being organised.
“The Indian players need Challengers to push their rankings up. After a long time, we had three early this year and the Indians did very well in them.
“It’s better if this happens before the Chennai Open. We are looking at all options,” said Reddy.