The French Tennis Federation and All India Tennis Association have announce the Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series, part of the Roland-Garros Series, which will take place in New Delhi from April 20 to May 1. Former World No. 1 Justine Henin will be in the Capital to promote the programme.
The French Tennis Federation (FFT), organisers of the world’s premier clay court event at Roland Garros – the French Open, in association with the All India Tennis Association will conduct the fifth edition of the ‘Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series’ in New Delhi. The competition returns to the country for a fifth consecutive year, and this year it will be with 4-time Roland-Garros winner Justine Henin who will be in the city for the Junior Wild Card competition.
The Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series aim at providing a clay court tennis experience to the young talent of India, and at promoting the same at the grassroots level. It will be held at the clay courts of the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) from April 29th to May 1st 2019.
The fifth edition of the ‘Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series’ will see a total of eight players each from the boys’ and girls’ category compete to earn qualification to the wild card playoffs of the Junior draws at Roland-Garros 2019 in Paris. The top-8 boys and top-8 girls in the AITA rankings will be chosen to participate in the competition. It is an important tournament as it gives the winners the opportunity to compete against the best junior players from China, Brazil and India.
To motivate and support the young players, legendary tennis star Justine Henin will be visiting India for a two-day trip where she will host a tennis clinic with the players, and will be watching the young Indian talent perform on the clay courts. The former World No. 1 women’s player won Roland-Garros in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, and is considered as one of the best female tennis players to have graced the court.
Looking forward to the ‘Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series’, the Tennis legend Justine Henin said, “It has been a dream for me to visit India, and when the French Tennis Federation (FFT) proposed this opportunity, I couldn’t say no. I have a huge admiration for young Indian talent, and I am looking forward to working with them and seeing them in action at the ‘Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series’.
Speaking on the occasion, Bernard Giudicelli, President of FFT, said, “India has always been a major part of our Junior Wild Card competition, and we have been proud to see the players make it to the Junior draws at Roland-Garros. It gives me immense joy to announce that we will be continuing with the ‘Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series’ in New Delhi, and I would like to thank the All India Tennis Association for their continued support in this initiative and making it an even bigger success with each passing year.”
This competition confirms the collaborative effort put in by both Roland-Garros and AITA to organize grassroots championships of international repute in India. This rendez-vous is instrumental in producing many young talents who have represented the nation in the junior levels.
‘Rendez-vous à Roland-Garros’ is considered the launch pad for the Parisian Grand Slam. This operation promotes Roland-Garros and clay throughout the world all year round. The Roland-Garros Series play a crucial role in this regard: casual players compete in the Roland-Garros Amateur Series; the Roland-Garros Junior Wild Card Series are for young promising players; and the Roland-Garros eSeries by BNP Paribas are the first tennis eSport tournament. The overall objective is to offer fans the opportunity to experience Roland-Garros by tasting the atmosphere of the tournament at local events, or even by winning their place and coming to the stadium.