Rohan Bopanna blames poor grassroot facilities for Indian tennis's downfall

By: Aveek Chakraborty

Bengaluru, June 19: Rohan Bopanna, the newly crowned Grand Slam champion, has blamed the country's poor grassroots system and lack of funding of foreign coaches as the reasons behind India's poor run in singles success in Tennis.

Vijay Goel felicitates Bopanna

The 37-year-old recently won the doubles grand slam title at Roland Garros with Canadian teammate Gabriela Dabrowski and joined Mahesh Bhupathi, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza as the Indian grand slam champions.

File photo: Rohan Bopanna (right) with partner Gabriela Dabrowski after winning French Open

However, the Bengaluru man suggested the country should not be satisfied with winning only doubles crowns and doubles glory is a stepping stone to singles success.

"If playing doubles was a shortcut to the success we would have had a number of players ranked in the top 50," Bopanna said in an interview.

"There was no system in place for players to come through. Whoever did well in singles in the past did it on their own."

Somdev Devvarman's 62nd spot in 2011 is the highest an Indian player has been ranked in the singles in the recent years and previously in the 60's Ramanathan Krishnan twice reached the singles semi-finals at Wimbledon and his son Ramesh and Vijay Amritraj both made the last eight there and ranked in the top 25. But since then India has had only rare glimpses of joy in singles.

To solve this crisis situation the doubles winner has proposed that money should be spent on bringing foreign coaches in India to train the kids from the grassroots levels and he is doing the same to benefit his Bengaluru Tennis Academy.

Bopanna said: "We need to have a system in place at the grassroots level for the future of Indian tennis.

"That's one reason I have started myAcademyy in Bengaluru. I am also bringing a couple of coaches to my academy in Bangalore from outside.

"One from the United Kingdom and one from Serbia. They will be there for a year at least. I want the kids to have that opportunity to learn from experienced foreign coaches in their own country.

"They often spend a lot of money to get trained by foreign coaches for just one or two months, which is not of much help."

The Indian tennis ace is currently competing in the Queen's Club Championship along with Croatian Dodig and will play the round of 16 match tomorrow against Edmund and Kokkinakis.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Monday, June 19, 2017, 13:37 [IST]
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