Pune, Feb 5: Ace India tennis player Divij Sharan is happy with the rapid strides Tata Open Maharashtra is making and helping the young Indian talents to showcase their talents on the tennis court in the ATP Tour.
The third edition of Tata Open Maharashtra is being held at Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium in Pune. Several big names in the sport are participating in the tournament which started February 3.
Talking about his thoughts on the 25th edition of the ATP Tour in India, Sharan - who is ranked 53rd in the doubles rankings - said, "It's great to be here. I still remember when they had the first tournament in India, that was in Delhi and that's where I am from and I was actually a ball kid. I have great memories from that tournament, to watch all the top players. I have come a long way. I have been playing all these years and to be part of the third tournament here in Pune is really special."
When asked how the tournament has benefitted the Indian players the 33-year-old said, "I think it is absolutely great for all the Indian players to get a chance an play at his level. A lot of us have done really well and that has helped us in the rankings. We've moved up in the rankings. We've got a chance to play in the bigger event outside India. It's great for Indian players and I really congratulate them and I am grateful for the sponsors and the organisers to host this event."
Talking about the takeaways for him from the previous events, Sharan said, "It's great. It's absolutely fantastic that we get a chance to play for India, in front of the home crowd. With their support, I had a great last year and a year before, where I made it to the semi-final. I am really looking forward to just go out there and enjoy myself."
Earlier on Tuesday, the defending doubles champion Sharan, who was playing alongside New Zealand's Artem Sitak this year, lost to Leander Paes and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden 2-6 6-7 (5-7) in the opening round.