Asian Games double medallist Vishnu Vardhan on Friday urged the government to invest in domestic tennis leagues to unearth talents from small cities.
Vardhan, who won the silver and bronze medals in the mixed doubles and men’s team events respectively at the 2010 Asian Games, said although several leagues are being organised they are held in big cities like Delhi, Chennai etc.
“A lot of leagues are being organised but they are being played in the main cities. I think the government should come forward and support such leagues,” Vardhan said on the sidelines of the Pro Tennis League.
“If the main sponsor is pumping money government can give a little extra to ensure talents from small cities get an opportunity to come and play and get recognised,” he added.
The 32-year-old also said that the government is not doing enough to promote youngsters in the sport.
“In 2010 I was in a Commonwealth scheme of the government because of that my talent was recognised. But no such scheme has come since then where youngsters are sent abroad to train or given tournament sponsorships.
“I am a product of the scheme but had I not received that I would be playing somewhere in Hyderabad or would have left tennis. The government may be doing something but it’s not enough.”
Asked about the Olympics, Vardhan said the combination of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna could fair well for India.
“Olympics is really tough and you have to be in the top to be a medal potential. Sania (Mirza) is back and is going to start competing from January and has set a target to qualify for Tokyo,” he said.
“Rohan Bopanna is in very good form. So Rohan and Sania can be a good combination. Divij is also doing well so he is also a good option,” Vardhan added.