Karnataka tennis’ strongman Sunder Raju, who used to be an integral a part of the World Tennis Federation’s Davis Cup job drive, has a brand new position at the global level, having been voted to the board of the Asian Tennis Federation.

The Bengaluru-based Raju, basically an educationist, whose love for tennis noticed him revamp the sport in Karnataka earlier than he used to be roped in through the All India Tennis Federation, the place he is the vice-president. Cushy spoken and decided, Raju tells TOI that Asia is the new-age financial system and must take possession of the tennis marketplace. Excerpts:

Tennis in Asia…

The problem for tennis is that we now have fallen at the back of numerous sports activities, numerous it has to do with our unwillingness to experiment. The sector is converting, the early life are converting, the eye span is brief. We wish to rediscover ourselves as a game. In many ways, the ATP and the WTA have grow to be establishments for the top-100 relatively than the game of tennis itself. The ITF has been caught for lengthy in what I name a hoary custom; within the closing 3 years, they have been making an attempt to do new issues.

Regional entities are cars by which a guardian frame just like the ITF has to pressure its imaginative and prescient and programmes. It will be important that regional entities do a little of the ones experiments themselves, after which see if it may be implemented around the board. I have been having those discussions throughout the Indian tennis fraternity, on the ITF and the Asian Tennis Federation. What has took place now could be that they have got mentioned sufficient of speaking from the out of doors, come and spot if you’ll be able to do one thing with this. It is an engaging place to be in. I hope that the office-bearers will set in movement what must be performed.

If tennis must be a rising game and now not a game of the day before today, Asia is the area that are supposed to take possession. The demographic is right here. We wish to determine the way it does not grow to be a one-continent game which it’s, usually talking. It is only that there’s such a lot custom in that continent (Europe) that it’s lifting the game and conserving it in combination. If we’re to step again and take a look at it objectively and ask ourselves what in reality is needed on this specific game, innovation is necessary. Sure, we can fail. Sure, there were experiments and numerous the ones experiments have failed, however that’s not a reason why to mention establishment is okay. We wish to say how can a bigger frame of youngsters have interaction with the game after which thru that engagement commute the adventure of lifestyles itself.

A tradition the place the top class is on training…

Asia is a new-age financial system. One of the most easiest tactics of survival or expansion (right here) is to teach your self, discover a talent. Attempt to excel in that talent and develop in that area. Game, until now, has been regarded as an accessory to actual lifestyles. It is not regarded as integral. While within the extra advanced international, the USA or Europe, they’ve discovered tactics of integrating game into lifestyles. Discovering tactics of earning money whilst enjoying game. Asia is in what I might name that edge, game will grow to be a part of lifestyles as economies develop. China is throwing a wonderful quantity of assets at making game a tradition. What we wish to say is, how can we create a structured procedure for all of Asia to have a look at and say, whether or not you might be at the back of as a creating country or at the vanguard of it, I am shifting into being a type area.

How do you combine this disparate setting after which create an entire that has the chance to develop quicker than it must within the commonplace procedure? One of the most worries I’ve is if we do not reinvent tennis, it is like all product, you need to combat now not just for survival, but in addition for thoughts area. If you do not achieve this, it may not achieve traction. Unfortunately in Asia, save for one or two Davis Cup countries, tennis hasn’t been proper up there. It’s every other game, the elite play, it is not what catches the partiality of the hundreds. The query is how then do you flip it into one thing that catches the partiality of the hundreds?

India is making development…

Within the Indian context, accomplishing occasions is ready pastime greater than anything. Hobby, alternatively, can best get you that some distance. No less than in Karnataka, we are seeing what I name a core staff of people who find themselves keen about the game. We are saying sportsmen and ladies need to be concerned, however other folks with the wherewithal to assist reinforce a sport is as necessary to the method. It has got to be a mix of each.

After some 20 years of running at it, it nonetheless looks like a start-stop workout. It’s person pastime that drives the game right here relatively than a company. Once we began this, India rarely had any avid gamers even within the 500-mark (in singles). Now, we now have three-four avid gamers knocking on the top-100. It nonetheless looks like we now have now not performed sufficient or we have not long gone some distance sufficient. Now we have performed a couple of Challengers and Futures. What we want is a few 20 weeks of Futures and Challengers, for women and men, giving our avid gamers a possibility to make a residing out of the game.

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