Tennis

Action, camera but no lights!

The television cameras have arrived for the ‘live' coverage of the Asian junior tennis championship, but the centre court does not look ready to play host.

Lighting could pose a serious problem, if the matches are to be played late in the evening. Only 32 of the 96 bulbs, eight each on the four sides, which came on Thursday were lit leaving huge blocks of dark areas on the court.

Players had difficulty spotting the ball that was pouncing on them from the dark. The umpire was at his wit's end and the players were at the mercy of his calls.

There were temporary stands being hurriedly erected for the television cameras, which spoke of poor planning. A stadium that is being readied for the Commonwealth Games could have built camera positions in advance, but the requirements of the media, both print and electronic, look to be the last among the priorities of the authorities who had designed the arena.

Two small rows of tables represent the media tribunes.

In fact, the centre court has only seen a cosmetic change. Huge iron platforms put on either side of the court, with seating and ramps, make it look compact, but it is a clear case of a good opportunity lost to renovate the stadium to match world standards.

Too much steel has robbed the original charm of the place, and the high roof may not be able to stop either the sun or the rain unleashing their fury on the spectators.

With hardly anyone watching, mainly discouraged by the foolish security drills that drive even the players and coaches away from the stadium, it will not be a bad idea to use show court No. 2, the newly built second show court at the DLTA Complex, for the climax of the tournament, as was done during the ITF junior tournament last week.

The CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Hooper was at the stadium, watching the action on centre court in the evening, along with A.S.V. Prasad, but left before the floodlights were switched on.

Of course, Prasad stayed on to note the situation of inadequate light. Friday is another day. The technicians may after all work magic with the lights!

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 6:17:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/Action-camera-but-no-lights/article16303981.ece

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