VETERAN INDIAN TENNIS STAR Mahesh Bhupathi today said they were "over the moon" after a satisfactory hosting of the inaugural Inter-school tennis tournament, which will now "continue" and "expand" in partnership with HCL.
Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academies (MBTA) and IT giants HCL launched the tennis tournament recently.
"We had amazing number of entries. We had close to 80 schools participating in the event. Since this was our first time, everyone is over the moon and hopefully we can grow it as a larger property across the country,"
Bhupathi, winner of 12 Grand Slam titles in men's doubles and mixed doubles, said.
"We will make a blueprint that makes sense to everyone. We will come out with a plan in coming weeks as it evolves,"
Roshni Nadar, Executive Director and CEO of HCL Corporation, said they plan to take the tournament beyond National Capital Region (NCR).
"It will continue. It was a humble beginning. It's just NCR and hopefully we can take this tournament at school level to other zones within the country. The talent exists everywhere,"
"HCL as a company wants to look at sports at school level. We already sponsor Subroto Cup. We are again trying to see a sport in the country that requires support. That was the aim for this (association with MBTA)."
Asked if kids who impress in this tournament will be supported like junior Wimbledon doubles champion Sumit Nagal, who is being supported by him, the Indian tennis star said "his case was different."
"The purpose of this event was not to spot the talent. The purpose of this event was to get schools involved and get everyone under one umbrella. Having a corporate giant like HCL coming in to tennis, any form to test the water is very exciting. They liked it. We will see how we can expand.
"The goal was to give them some kind of exposure which is not there in India. They will see how it is done how hard it is how much hard work is required to become a professional player."
The winner of the tournament will have the opportunity to train for one week at Schuttler Waske Tennis University in Germany, where Sumit has been training for the last one year.