Tamil Nadu Tennis Association president Vijay Amritraj
Tamil Nadu Tennis Association president Vijay Amritraj

Will weigh up options: Vijay Amritraj on tourney’s return

The TNTA currently has only a one-year agreement with the tournament’s license holder APG Group.

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association president Vijay Amritraj on Saturday said that the WTA Chennai Open 250 organisers would “weigh up options” during their bid to bring back the women’s tournament to the city next year.

The TNTA currently has only a one-year agreement with the tournament’s license holder APG Group.

EXCERPTS FROM A PRESS CONFERENCE

On whether WTA Chennai Open 250 will return next year

At the moment, we have licence for one year. We had that discussion with the license holder. At this point, we have a few options and we are weighing them up. There are two challenges – calendar and weather. We are trying to overcome them. The full calendar for 2023 is not out yet. I want to see the period in which we can fit in this event – if there is a window in the January-February period.

On the challenges of having the event immediately after a Grand Slam

The week after the US Open is a tricky one. But, we thought that it would work because there was only one other event happening concurrently (at Portoroz in Slovenia). We had to do a lot of things in a short span of time [to make this a reality]. We have done it, but what has pleased me is that we have done it better than what most people expected.

On the learnings from the inaugural edition

I have played the sport at the highest level. I know what the players expect – good sight (stadium and courts), accommodation, travel in the host city and food. There are few loopholes that we know, which we will try to fill the next time around.

On hosting more top-level women’s events in India

What happened in the last two to three years (referring to the COVID-19 pandemic) made it difficult to get things back on track. Several tournaments in different parts of the world were in fact called off. And, it gave us the opportunity to jump right into it at the last minute. I would have liked to have more time to run this event. We need more women’s events across the world, including India. They are meant to inspire young girls to play sport in general. We will look to have back-to-back events (one ATP and one WTA) in the future.

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