ACES & VOLLEYS: Oldest player, clay-courters are double faults in Raipur Rangers’ CTL debut

THE RAIPUR RANGERS have strangely formed a predominantly clay courters team. Considering that the Rangers will be making their debut in the upcoming Champions Tennis League (CTL) a team comprising of clay court specialists might not yield the desired results. 

That said, the Rangers have been very unfortunate in losing their marquee player, Kevin Anderson. The South African pulled out of the CTL at the last moment. Anderson's exit will certainly be a huge blow for the debutants. 

Besides, there is not a single player in the men’s or women’s category who is coming off a splendid season. Going by the fixtures, if is very difficult to pick even a single, outright winner from the Rangers’ squad. 

Moreover, the inclusion of 1995 French Open Champion, Thomas Muster, who is the oldest player in the legends category, might backfire for the new entrants. The Austrian has been away from the game for a long time now and rustiness could play havoc in his matches.

Watch the video below where Muster shares his thoughts on playing this season

In the women’s section, Alize Cornet of France doesn’t possess a powerful game and given the pace of the points and games, the French girl might get overpowered. Cornet is still learning the tricks of the trade in doubles, and might not be able to produce the goods in mixed doubles either. 

Watch what Cornet has to say

Meanwhile, Anderson's replacement, Roberto Bautista Agut is still trying to establish himself as a doubles player and his lack of experience playing in such a fast-paced format might hurt his team.  

However, TFG finds a few positives in which the Nagpur team might try to cash in. Agut, might not be very consistent with his game on the ATP tour, but on his day, the Spaniard can prove to be a tricky customer for any opponent. Although, Agut has the tendency to commit unforced errors regularly, his bold approach can also win a quick, decisive points for the Rangers. 

India’s Ramanathan has been a part of the CTL in the previous year and will draw upon all the experience to make sure, he delivers in the men’s doubles. Ramanathan has played quite a few matches in the ATP challenger circuit this year and might prove to be handful in men’s doubles. 

Ramanathan on playing in CTL:

Cornet too has been a part of the CTL last year and will be aware of the demands of the format. The French girl might not be intimidating on the court, but if she has learnt from her prior experience, then she could hold her ground comfortably going ahead. 

At the moment, the Raipur Rangers lack the fire-power, X-factor and a few of their players are battling lean patches. Looking at the composition of their squad, it is difficult to see them pose any serious threat to their opponents. Unless, they have an ace up their sleeve.


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