AITA postpones national camp for elite players

NEW DELHI, Nov 19:The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has postponed the national camp it had planned for the country’s elite players from November 30 due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital.

Delhi’s tally crossed the five-lakh mark on Wednesday with thousands of fresh cases being added in the last few days. The national capital also reported a record 134 deaths on Wednesday.

The AITA had laid out a plan for the top-20 elite men’s and women’s players for the camp, which was to culminate with a national championship in the singles format among the assembled players in a bio-secure environment.

The planned 21-day camp was scheduled to begin for the men’s players from November 30 and was to be followed by a women’s camp from January 4.

AITA secretary general Anil Dhupar, DLTA President Rohit Rajpal and former AITA president Anil Khanna had a meeting to take stock of the situation and decided to postpone the camp.

India’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali even spent five days at DLTA to set up the camp, overseeing the required arrangements, but flew back to Bangalore after cases start to rise in Delhi.

“The staff at both DLTA and AITA is shaken up. Life is important, so we have decided to postpone the camp. We were ready for it, a system with proper infrastructure was created but unfortunately we are postponing the camp,” Dhupar told PTI.

“We will wait normalcy to return. Whenever players are comfortable to travel, we will re-schedule. We will see if we can follow the same order (men’s, women’s boys, girls) or change the sequence,” added Dhupar.

The AITA official also said that all those players who are not travelling had agreed to join the camp.

India’s top men’s players, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan, are already competing on the ATP Challenger Tour while Sumit Nagal has been in Germany for training for a long time.  (PTI)