Asian junior champion Snehadevi Reddy was denied a wild card for the women’s event and has to now play the qualifying event, scheduled to begin at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday, in the Fenesta National tennis championship.
The 16-year-old Snehadevi had won the Asian junior title here in April this year.
Strangely, the organisers did not offer a wild card to any player in the women’s event, and pushed the first four players in the qualifying list — Nehel Sahni, Vineeta Singh, Varunya Chandrashekar and Sahan Shetty — into the main draw.
Sri Vaishnavi Peddi Reddy, another talented player in the women’s section will also have to negotiate the qualifying event.
Similarly, in the men’s section, only one wild card was given to Atishay Jain, while three others spots went to Saurabh Patil, Rubal Shandilya and Mukund Sasikumar who were at the top of the qualifying list.
Earlier, Elwin Antony had taken up the place in the main draw vacated by former national champion Vinod Sridhar. In the under-18 boys’ section, wild cards were given to Aadit Kumar, Ominder Baisoya and Ishaan Kumar, while five other spots in a draw of 64, were given to the top five in the qualifying list — Rohin Gajree, Amarnath Arora, Taha Kapadia, Mayukh Rawat and Raghav Jaisinghani.
In the girls’ under-18 section, two wild cards were given to Nehel Sahni and Tahira Bhatti while four other slots went to the top four in the qualifying list — Aarushi Kakkar, Harsha Sai Challa, Bhavya Wadhawan and Anupreet Bedi.
The organisers and the tournament referee Puneet Gupta expressed their helplessness on the issue and stated that it was the policy of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), to extend wild cards selectively.