Keeping up with the state’s intent to promote a sporting culture in Uttar Pradesh, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tournament with prize money of US$25,000 will be organised from March 19 to 26 in Lucknow’s Ekana International Stadium.
This comes close on the heels of the state’s new Sports Policy, 2023- a comprehensive plan that has been prepared after a close study of the policies of different states.
The policy focuses on various aspects—physical fitness, training, support for the development of new institutions, a separate sports authority for the state, setting up of sporting excellence centres, and development of infrastructure on the public-private partnership mode.
The tennis tournament shall see participation from players around the world and those who have been ranked by the Association for Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Among the participants are world number 245 Nam Hoang Ly (Vietnam), 358-ranked Oliver Crawford (USA), Evgeny Donskoy, Vladyslav Orlov (Ukraine), Sasikumar Mukund (India), Dominik Palan (Czech), Arthur Weber (France), Eric Vanshelboim (Ukraine), Shuichi Sekiguchi (Japan), Blake Ellis (USA), Maxime Mora (France), Yusuke Takahashi (Japan), George Loffhagen (GBR), The Indian line-up includes Sidharth Rawat, Digvijay Pratap Singh, Manish Sureshkumar, S D Prajwal Dev and Niki Kaliyanda Poonacha.
The main draw of the tournament will commence on March 21 and qualifying rounds will begin on March 19. The main draw size is 32 while the qualifying is 48.
The winner will take away 25 ATP points and $3,600 (₹2.97lakh). The runners-up will get 16 ATP points and $ 2,120(₹1.75lakh).
The semi-finalists will get 8 points and $1,255 apiece, and the quarter-finalists will receive 3 points and $ 730. Second Round will get 1 ATP point and $430 and the round of 32 will get $260 each. Doubles winners will get $1,550, the runners-up $900, the semi-finalists $540, quarter-finalists $320 and the round of 16 will get $180 as prize money.
The Lucknow leg of the $25K series will be followed by an event worth $25K at Mysuru and then a $15K event in Chennai.
Navneet Sehgal, president, Uttar Pradesh Tennis Association said, “Uttar Pradesh is leading the way when it comes to sports in the country. This tournament will give an opportunity to Indian players to earn valuable prize money and ATP points. We are elated that previous year’s doubles winners Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni who formed their team in UP, are now in the top 75 on the ATP rankings this year. Due to Covid-19 we had a gap of a year but we are now committed to organising many more men’s, women’s, and junior events across the state in order to benefit our players.”