Leander bets on young guns at TPL auction

Tennis legend and co-owner of Mumbai Leon Army, Leander Paes backed youngsters Niki Poonacha and Aryan Goveas by picking them up at the auction of the 2nd Tennis Premier League on Sunday.

Niki was picked for a prize ofRs 2.25 lakh, while Aryan was picked up for Rs 1.25 Lakh respectively.

Niki had triumphed against Aryan at the Fenesta Nationals last week.

While the young players received an encouraging response, there was a tough battle between the teams for the top players of the country.

In the men’s category Saketh Myneni (Delhi Binny’s Brigade), Somdev Devvarman (Gujarat Panthers), Vishnu Vardhan (Bengaluru Hawks), Jeevan Neduncherhiyan (Punjab Bulls) and Purav Raja (Pune Warriors) all fetched an identical prize of Rs 2.25 lakh.

Ankita Raina(Delhi Binny’s Brigade), Pranjala Yedlapalli (Punjab Bulls), Mahak Jain (Gujarat Panthers) and Rutuja Bhosale (Pune Warriors) were bought for Rs 1.5 lakh each, a media release issued here said.

“I am happy to see the players getting more than the base price and I am looking forward to hosting international players in the next couple of years,” Paes said.

Apart from the top Men and Women players, the auctions also saw an encouraging response for the Girls U-18 and Boy’s U-14 categories.

A total of eight teams with eight players will fight it out to be crowned champions for the 2nd edition to be held from December 12 to 15.