NEW DELHI: A professional sports consultant, Doug MacCurdy, will assist in the development of Indian tennis in a project offered by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) through the Olympic Solidarity Fund.

The Development Director of ITF, MacCurdy, has been working with the Chinese for the last two years.

“The focus will be on system development, starting with the base to the top of the pyramid, with the emphasis on the upper half, to help in the transition of the players into the professional league,” MacCurdy, who will be in India for a total of 22 weeks starting from January next year, said.

The training methods would be studied and MacCurdy will work mostly with the coaches and will also assist in talent identification.

Easy for women

He pointed out that it was easier for the women players of Asia to make a mark because most of them were getting groomed on the hard courts.

He was of the view that clay was the best surface to develop for male players and pointed at Europe as a classic example.

“It will not be a bad idea to have more clay courts, as taking the players to Europe is expensive. We will make a blueprint for higher player development,” he said.

MacCurdy observed that he had seen Yuki Bhambri as part of the ITF under-14 team in Europe for five weeks last year and that he was quite impressed with him.

“Yuki is an outstanding talent and has a good tennis attitude. He has excellent racquet head speed and a very high potential,” stressed MacCurdy, who has been watching the young lad for the last few days here as well in the National championship.

He reasoned that 80 per cent of the players in the international circuit were from Europe because they had so many tournaments through the year.

“If you are in Europe, you can get to the top 150 in the World, by not having to drive more than six hours from your home for any tournament. You don’t have to leave home to be a top professional,” MacCurdy said. — Special Correspondent

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