Vijay Amritraj expresses concerns about future of Indian tennis, calls for 'system' in place to nurture talent
Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj is 'worried' about the future of the sport in the country with no one after the likes of Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi able to make a mark at the world stage.
Kolkata: Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj is "worried" about the future of the sport in the country with no one after the likes of Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi able to make a mark at the world stage.
The trio have been the flagbearers of Indian tennis for decades and there's been a huge void after them.
In the Davis Cup, India have not able to go past the play-offs in last four years, losing to Serbia, the Czech Republic, Spain and Canada in last four years
These were highlighted by Amritraj, an Indian member of the Davis Cup team who made the finals in 1974 and 1987.
"Just look at the facts and we have to be worried. We have not won any medals in Rio, we have not made the world group stage in Davis Cup in Fed Cup," the 64-year-old player- turned-commentator said on the sidelines of the Premjit Lall Invitational Tennis tournament.
"So the question: Is there a system available to be able to provide that? Like Sania in today's environment, is difficult to emulate by today's boys and girls."
"Eventually we need a system in place, like what Australia and Spain do, if we want to compete outside. We are fine if we are competing only at domestic level. But we truly need a system if we want to compete outside," he said.
In the city for the first time in over three decades, the California-based Amritraj said: "It's been a long time."
"I've some fond memories of Kolkata, having started my career winning the National Championships. It brings back great memories," a two-time quarterfinalist in both Wimbledon and Australian Open said.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Empty stadiums, pandemic, scheduling get in the way of tennis players and Olympic dream
A big bunch of tennis players are giving the Tokyo Olympics a miss due to injuries, scheduling concerns, pandemic, absence of fans and strict COVID-19 rules.
Former and current Indian cricketers took to social media to pass on their best wishes to Indian athletes participating in Tokyo Olympics.
Firstpost.com takes a quick look at the tennis players that will represent India at the Games, and charts their journey towards securing Olympic qualification.