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Pune, Oct 31 (IBNS): Walchand Cup, one of the biggest junior ranking tennis event on the National circuit, is set to unfold its fifth straight year of existence in the city next week.
The tournament, held under the aegis of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) carries the stature of being a National Series event and gets underway at the Deccan Gymkhana from November 3.
The finals ‘Walchand Cup All-India Ranking Tournament' is slated to take place on November 10.
Speaking to media persons, S.S. Gangawati, President Walchandnagar Industries Limited, said, “For the last four years WIL has seen the tournament grow in both popularity and participation. It also gives us pleasure and reason to inform that we plan to continue this association in the upcoming years with higher goals.”
Nitin Joshi, Tournament Director, said, “This is the fifth year of this prestigious tournament. We have excellent facilities here at Deccan, with seven top quality synthetic courts, which will all be used for matches.
"Five of these courts have the flood-lit facility, which is handy, especially during the qualifying event, where matches go well into the late evening."
“We have temporary stands that can accommodate 100-odd people, apart from the veranda, which can easily accommodate about another 60-70,” he said.
The tournament begins on Saturday, November 3, with the qualifying event, open for boys and girls Under-16.
The main draw begins on November 5.
This year the tournament has an increased participation. Over 160 players have confirmed participation and signed in for the qualifying draw. Last year 150 players participated.
In the All India Tennis Association’s junior structure, a National Series event is one of the second biggest in stature after the Nationals. National Series events are followed by Super Series, Championship Series, and Talent Series in hierarchy.
The importance of the Walchand Cup tournament can be gauged from the fact that there are only two National Series events for Under-16 boys and girls in the entire 2012, and Pune will host one of them.
The prominent players in the girl’s section include, Devanshi Bhimjiyani, Mihika Yadav, Kanishka Chawla, Aastha Dargude, Snehal Mane from Maharashtra, Karman Kaur, Vanshika Sawhney (Delhi); Himani Mor of Haryana, Shruti Gunuganti, Moulika Ram from Andhra Pradesh and Zeel Desai from Gujarat.
In the boy’s section; Vishnu Prasad (New Delhi), Dhruv Pal (Uttrakhand), Udayan Bhakar (Rajasthan), Indra Partwardhan, Sahil Gaware, Kunal Vazirani, Aditya Gokhale, Jayesh Pungaliya, Manvan Pondkule (Maharashtra), Raghav Jaisinghani (Madhya Pradesh), Vasisht Cheruku (Karnataka).
Mukund Joshi, Tennis Secretary, Deccan Gymkhana Club, explained, “The tournament over the years has proven to be an excellent platform for city juniors."
"In extending sponsorship and coaching support under our dedicated team of coaches have the pleasure to boast of helping Rutuja Bhosle and Sahil Deshmukh rise in their respective careers.
"Likewise, all past winners of the Walchand Cup are making good progress in the men’s and women’s sections on the national and international level. Today, we are proud to say that all mentioned players are a force to reckon with in Indian tennis,” he said.