This concept was launched with a feeling to make the game more popular among the young with the use of special balls of lower compression. These balls bounce lower and don’t move much making it possible for the player to hit it. Sunder Iyer, MSLTA treasurer and tournament director, says, “The benefits are immediate. Within an hour kids are rallying, having fun and psyched for more. They’re playing real tennis and having real fun. This will help more under-10 children to play the game and avoid dropouts from the game between 8-12 years”.
Children under-8 played on court 36 feet long by 18 feet wide (normal court is 78 feet long by 27 feet wide for singles and 36 feet wide for doubles). It was easy for little legs to cover and with a 2’9” net (normal net is 3 feet high at the centre), it was easy for kids to get the ball over and start rallying right away. This configuration also made it possible to fit four courts, or even sic, in the space of full sized court, allowing more kids to play at the same time. As children grew with tennis so does the court. 9 and 10 years old played on 60 feet long and 21 feet wide court for singles and 60 feet long by 27 feet wide court for doubles.
The tournament was from May 29 to June 4 at Balewadi stadium and was organized by Om Dalvi Memorial Foundation. The tournament offered a total scholarship of Rs 50,000 apart from certificate and trophies by Anutej Group and Unique Developers.
Results: Boys Under-16: National ranking: Final round: Vasudev Vijayraman (TN) bt 3-Nikhil Pasi (Mah) 5-7, 6-1, 6-2; Boys Under-18: National ranking: Final round: Rajanveer Dharmi (Mah) bt Jayesh Pungaliya (Mah) 6-3, 6-1; Boys Under-10: State ranking: Final round: Vikrant Mehta bt Siddhartha Sable 8-2; Girls Under-16: National ranking: Final round: Sanskruti Jangale (Mah) bt Shivani Desai (Mah) 6-4, 6-3; Girls Under-10: State ranking: Final round: Kritika Chhabra bt Neha Ghare 8-6; Girls Under-18: National ranking: Final round: Vasanti Shinde (Mah) bt Aastha Darghade (Mah) 6-1, 6-2;
Doubles round: Final round: Boys Under-18: Rajanveer Singh/ Nikhil Kanljiya bt Nikhil Passi/Sachin Kumar 6-1, 5-7, 1-3; Girls Under-18: Tanya Singh/ Anjali Jaindhan bt Aastha Darghude/Bhagyashree Rao 6-0,6-3.